Systems at work

Good to see Bruce Whiting get good coverage in today’s Enterprise section of the Sydney Morning Herald . It’s a pity I can’t find a link to that section on the SMH site.

Bruce is MD of The Mint Group; and co-author with John Burley of Money Secrets of the Rich among other talents. I’ve met and like Bruce and referred friends to him.

The article was basically about getting balance and profits in the life of a business-owner. Bruce told me years ago that a shareholder should review their return from any investment regularly. A business-owner should first look at the manager’s salary they draw for their effort, and then benchmark their dividends/profits as well.

One way of achieving more freedom and profitability in a business is to systemise as much as possible. That’s what I’ve been trying to do at my company (in between legal battles). I get to work from home today as I lost my glasses on the weekend. But two years ago the company didn’t operate if the General Manager was absent. Everything was a crisis, emergencies determined priorities. What a stupid way to run a business.

Worse what an awful place to work. I live by the slogan Failure to plan on your part does not make your problem an emergency on my part. Why would I attract and keep good people who can make the same money elsewhere without the hassle?

So there has been a cultural change at the company, with staff able work without micro-management.

Bruce makes an interesting point that not all businesses can be systemised, e.g. if the business is locked up in the principal’s head or contact list. One solution is to move the business to a related industry and untangle it from the principal that way.

Get a copy of the SMH for the details – worth a read.

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