Governance – a word that often fills business owners with fear. It is most often used in conjunction with large national or international companies. It also sounds a bit scary with images of red tape and large reports. So as a sole trader or small company you may think it doesn’t apply to you.
In some aspects it doesn’t. The larger the company the more reporting requirements you have. These requirements are often base on number of employees or turnover.
But there are some basic principles of governance that every business can use to.
Firstly who is in your business? It may be you on your own as the founder/owner. You may have some staff or a contractor to help you. But also think about your suppliers and of course the customer. Ensuring that the people involved in your business are delivering to expectations is key. Is the customer receiving what they expect? How are your customer needs changing? Do you need to bring in more people/expertise to deliver to this?
This may seem obvious but what is your business aiming to achieve? Why does your business exist? Having a high level goal provides the guiding principles of your business. This is your mission statement. Take time over putting this together. If you don’t know where to start search online for your favourite brands’ mission statement. You will see that they vary in length from one sentence to two or three. It needs to reflect your business goal and isn’t a one size fits all exercise.
How are you delivering your mission? Its not just about complying with legal requirements. Are your processes streamlined, working efficiently and reviewed? Have your processes evolved over time and never been reviewed? If so then take some time out to have a look to see if what you are doing is delivering your purpose.
How is your business doing? Take time to look at your financials and cash flow. What do you need to do to meet your goals? Does anything need to change? IS there anything you can stop doing? Also review the changes that are happening around your business and your customers.
Governance isn’t just for large companies. Following these principles you will have a good basis for your business to grow.
If you would like some help keeping your business on track get in touch for a free consultation.