Is your company’s greatest strength also its biggest risk?

Business people gathered by a glass board with square sticky notes stuck on it.

Protect your business from people turnover

What’s your company’s greatest strength?

Whenever I pose this question to business owners, I often get the same answer…

“Our people are our secret to our success! We have an amazing team, couldn’t do it without them…”

It’s wonderful when you feel so proud, and there’s no question that a great team is a huge advantage.

But today I want to suggest a counterpoint…

Your people are also your greatest vulnerability.

When you depend too much on individual brilliance, it becomes a problem.

What happens when those people are sick or on holiday? If there’s no one else who can do the job quite like them, it can cause lots of delays and hiccups.

Worse – what about when they leave?

In many cases, these people are virtually irreplaceable. No one knows exactly how they did the work or how to replicate it. Their departure could have a very detrimental effect on the business, especially if they leave quickly with very little time for a handover.

Overnight, you might go from a position of strength to scrambling to fill the void they’ve left behind, desperately trying to piece together their methods and knowledge in a frantic attempt to maintain stability.

Again, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t recruit great people. Of course you want the best.

But you need to mitigate against the risk of losing them, by making your business less people-dependent.

That means ensuring that they follow sound procedures and processes, instead of making up their own ways of doing things…

Documenting these systems and their knowledge properly, so it’s not just in their heads!

And where possible, ensuring that there is more than one person who can do a job.

This move from being people-dependent to becoming process-dependent often takes place once you’ve hit or just passed £1 million turnover. At that stage, as you start to grow much larger, it’s a crucial step in making your business more grown-up and professionally run.

So how about your finance department?

Perhaps because it’s not core business, your bookkeeper or accountant are very often left to their own devices, to operate as they see fit.

When they go, business owners are dismayed to discover that their filing system makes no sense to anyone else…

That there is no clear documentation of financial processes…

And that crucial financial information is locked away in the departing employee’s mind.

Even key members of our own team build client relationships and learn intricate nuances of certain work, but our culture is to share knowledge with other team members so we’re not working in silos.

When you work with Insight Associates, we address these challenges head-on. We establish robust financial systems and procedures in your business and document them thoroughly – so the way you operate is always above board.

This has one huge advantage, beyond risk mitigation…

By ensuring that these systems are followed at all times, your finances are managed in a more streamlined and efficient way. This helps you grow faster and maximise your profitability.

And since our entire team is working on your behalf, you will never have to worry about a team member taking annual leave or departing. While we form close relationships with you, there is always a second person trained to take on every task.  Your finance function will remain resilient and adaptable, even in the face of personnel changes.

If that’s the kind of mature, professional approach you would like to take with your financial management, please get in touch today.

Simply email us or call us on 01279 647 447 to find out more about our outsourced financial management service, and set a consultation with one of our specialists.

Warmly,

Garry

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In this blog archive our Managing Director, Garry Mumford simplifies all things financial and shares with us a lifetime of practical financial business advice.

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