Basketball, Family Business, and Opening a Business Bank Account – what do they have in common? Members of a family collectively running a family business are “playing” together as a team. Aside from bonding to make the family ties stronger, like playing hard ball together, they collaborate with each other in pushing their business bonds to reach maximum value. Each member is a key player in scoring positive goals for the business, contributing to the attainment of the much coveted “championship title”, as when the business earns profit exponentially. A good strategy family businesses might want to consider is opening a business bank account to ensure that each family player benefits from the business, simultaneously ensuring that the business is reaching its full potential.Opening a business bank account, separate and clear-cut from each family member’s personal accounts, would help avoid conflict regarding the percentage of each member’s share. Allotment of shares would be precise and well-regulated if transferred from the business account to each member’s personal accounts. For example, a player would want to buy a high-end MP3 player so he could listen to upbeat music while practicing. It might help him become a better player, but the purchase is more personal than business-related in nature. Having a business bank account will not let the personal expenses indirectly or totally unrelated with business operations affect the business’s revolving cash. Business transactions are for the business, personal purchases are for personal use – keeping them separate on a business account and personal accounts respectively will do away with unnecessary clutter and make the team more focused on the goal. Internal team conflict would arise if members share one account for personal use and business use.Much like a team’s identity is at stake, a family business’s image could also carry more weight when its transactions are performed through its business bank account. Family members issuing checks using the family business’s name will help solidify the reputation of the business, with good feedback affecting the business’s whole image (and vice versa, so the family members would be made more cautious of their transactions). Clearly recorded transactions also come in handy, just like a good playbook, when it comes to reviewing what the positive dealings that helped bolster the business were and what weren’t. The family business could base its succeeding “game plan” based on its recorded transactions and through the advice of the partnering bank. Opening a business bank account would ensure the provision of services that would make the family business more credible and inviting, and of comprehensible records that would show if the business if is on the right track to the championship.As in Basketball, it must also be clear on what must be expected from the business, from each player, and from the partnering bank with which they would open a business bank account. Rest assured, the family business, the family members and the bank are all part of the same team in acquiring the championship trophy for “The Most Profitable Family Business”, having fun while they’re at it.
Many owner operated businesses grow quickly in their early days but more often than not they reach a plateau. Growth slows, if there is any at all, and profits do too.Many business owners are happy with this, or say they are, particularly if the business is generating enough profit to be comfortable.The problem is that while your business is standing still, others around you are growing theirs.So ultimately, you start to lose out to the competition. You lose market share or your unique identity or employees, etc.And then you have to work twice as hard to keep up.There are a number of reasons for the growth of a business to stall. The more obvious reasons, such as not being able to find enough new customers or price-sensitivity in the market place are often symptoms of other constraints in the business. These are not faults in the business, rather constraints that are more or less inevitable given the systems and structures needed to operate a business of a given size. In owner operated small to medium sized businesses, the constraint can sometimes be the owner themselves, as described here:
A small business revolves around the owner. All decisions have to be made by them or run past them causing a bottleneck in the running of the company. The business becomes more and more dependent upon the owner because the employees stop taking decisions. Ever heard a business owner say: “I wish I could find staff that would use their initiative”? It’s often a symptom of the owner making all the decisions. As a result, their employees don’t feel that they are supported in making their own decisions or in taking a risk or two that would benefit the company. As the business grows it is more and more important that issues are dealt with by individuals, teams and department heads.
This situation is often compounded by the fact that employees may have a strong loyalty to the owner of an owner operated business. This is fantastic, but as a business grows it needs to have more than one leader. If employees remain loyal to the owner instead of switching that allegiance to the company as a whole and the long-term future of the company, then business growth will inevitably become stunted as conflicts arise.
At some point in the development of a business, the owner must spend most of their time on the strategic aspects of growing the business, leaving the day-to-day running of the business to a capable manager. Failure to spend sufficient time setting the strategic direction of the business and helping the team produce a realistic action plan to get there is a major cause of businesses failing to grow.
While the owners role should evolve to a more strategic one, it is limiting for new ideas to only come from the owner. New ideas should be encouraged from all employees. In fact, why not from all stakeholders including customers, suppliers, alliance partners?
The culture of a start up business is quite naturally a reflection of the values and beliefs of the owner. This is generally what drives the successful development of the business during the start up phase. It is therefore quite difficult to give this up. But as the business grows the culture has to develop beyond that of the owner – still strongly influenced by them, but allowing the influences of employees, customers and their shared experiences to be reflected.
Small businesses often have their biggest wins when they go the extra mile to get a job done: doing something outside the normal procedures, thinking out of the box, taking a chance in order to deliver great service to a customer. If a business is to grow, however, these situations should become less frequent. You can’t continue to run a business by the seat of your pants. Celebration of a job well done needs to focus on getting systems in place to avoid seat-of-the-pants activity. It might not be as exciting, but it will allow the business to grow faster.
As a business grows the stakes get bigger and it gets harder to make decisions that may jeopardise what the business owner has already achieved. Employing more people in order to increase sales but when the current sales won’t quite cover the employment costs is a major impediment to growth. The fear of losing hard earned sales and profits will equally stop a business from making bold strategic decisions.
As businesses grow it is natural to go through multiple plateaus – growing until they reach a size that is supported by their current structures and systems. Each time this point is reached the structures and systems must evolve to support a bigger organisation, otherwise the business will falter and ultimately fade away.This is a natural process. A small business employing three people can’t be run in the same way as a multi-billion pound global conglomerate. Even if you envisage your business becoming one, you have to start with business systems that support the business today and the near future, not those that support a multi-billion pound turnover…So take a look at your business systems and the way you operate. Are they holding you back? How do you need to change them to support a new phase of growth?
While many construction firms are still making use of spreadsheets, there are other companies that already switched to industry-specific project management software. This is due to the fact that construction software providers are now coming up with integrated project management modules to compete with existing stand-alone project management systems.Companies that are ignoring the latest builder software may not like to know the benefits of investing in one. But for those who are willing to adapt the latest trend, there are a number of benefits that building software can offer to construction companies. Among these benefits are executive level reporting for a single job or involving various projects, field administration like daily report logs and punch list tracking, purchase order management and change order management, among others.This article will tackle the three key features of project management software that present huge benefits.• Process StandardizationWhen it comes to managing tasks, builder software can provide a standardized method. The method simplifies every step of project implementation, allows employees to learn the system with ease and lets project personnel to effortlessly transfer from one job to another requiring only a short period of learning the process. The use of standardizing management forms likewise presents a uniform look and feel to all company documents. With this, your company will be presented in a professional manner and it helps in promoting your brand awareness.• Document ControlCompanies that use spreadsheets and word processing documents for their project management documentation and communication have an inherently flawed system because their tools do not provide a centralized data repository for project information. In such system, the managers usually keep the records on their hard drive or scattered on the employees’ local drives.With the presence of building software, there is a single source of all project documents and there is a systematic method for documenting, tracking and following up on crucial matters. By maintaining a single source of data storage, there is visibility on the important details that are necessary for decision-making. It is easier to perform audit trails and no chance for important project documents getting misplaced or lost.• Cost ControlThe key to protecting the company profit is by proper management of project costs. With project management software, real-time cost data is provided which is essential in making profitable decisions. There is easy access to budgets, contracts, change orders and other data, making it easier to do an assessment and come up with actions where issues are discovered.These three are just among the many benefits of a systematic project management. There are many other benefits that your company will realize when you use the right type of construction project management software for your business.