Constant Change, Frequent Analysis
Most everyone has heard some form of the expression, “Nothing is as constant as change.” With things changing so much lately, how often do we take a step back to see where we’re at, what’s happening around us, and what we can do differently, and to make plans to improve? With certain guiding principles, we need to be constant and unchanging, but with many areas of our lives and businesses, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished” (Benjamin Franklin).
I recently had the privilege of working on-site with Brad and Kerry Rice, owners of Rice’s Capitol Carpet in Marshfield, Wisconsin. They are QFloors users, but the same principles apply to QPro users.
After using QFloors for six years, Brad and Kerry decided to have us come out and teach them new features and generally help them see how to more fully utilize our software programs. When I learned that they were bringing us back out for that type of training, I was impressed by their desire to do better with the software tools they have - they said that’s what they wanted. I had met them before at our users conferences, and like many other customers attending, they had great questions and offered great tips for how to do better. But until I spent a week with them, I didn’t realize how deep their desire to be and do better really goes. In fact, it’s been their focus this entire year! They make time daily and weekly to review certain aspects of their business and discuss how to be better. They focus on the processes rather than chasing after the next thing, and they know the revenue will follow.
That impressed upon me the principle of self-analysis. Specific to QPro and your company, or your role in the company where you use QPro, I suggest that you frequently analyze the following and make specific goals and plans for becoming better.
QPro is probably a central component of your daily operations, so I hope you’re reading what we publish online or send in emails. If you’re this far into this article, hopefully you’ve read the other articles in this QNews for things that might affect and/or help you. If you haven’t already, perhaps read past QNews articles on our website.
Are you regularly reading our Release Notes to see the bugs we’ve fixed and the new features we’ve added? Are there features of the QPro software that you haven’t implemented yet, or that you’re only partially familiar with?
All of these will help guide your analysis and changes to policies and procedures.
I think it’s normal that many business owners don’t know how to analyze their financial statements, but I don’t like that it's normal. A simple web search for “analyzing my financial statements” will give many results worth looking at. Perhaps a community or online college or has a class on how to read and analyze financial statements for business owners. You might utilize learnaccountingforfree.com.
Hopefully your accountant isn’t just preparing income tax returns for you - a good one will provide you with some of that analysis. Or perhaps you should hire a financial advisor to guide you.
Some of you know that our QFloors QCloud hosting servers were the target of a ransomware attack this year. It’s made me hypersensitive to anything weird happening on any of our computers, or anything that might be happening that we don’t know about. The “threat actors”, as they’re called, are constantly changing how they attack and infiltrate systems. That change is real and constant, so your analysis of your network security must also be constant and changing. You have to watch for and learn new ways of evaluating your security position. In addition, you need to plan for times that your internet goes down, which can happen due to many different reasons. Here is an article I recently wrote for QFloors customers. Much of it applies to you as well, so I hope you’ll read through it.
All of this takes time, which can be difficult to come by some days. But if it’s too difficult to come by too frequently, you might need to analyze where your time is spent. As you do that, along with some of the other analyses above, you might see where and how you can become more efficient, or you might discover that you just need to delegate more or that maybe it’s time to bring in an employee or two so you can step back and build and work “on” your company instead of working “in” it as much.
To wrap up, changes are constantly happening, so we have to frequently analyze where we’re at. We have to constantly change and be better.