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Staying Healthy – Self & Business

I’ve been beset by health topics the past few weeks.

Doctor test results,
Physical pain and restrictions.
General pills and procedure…

All have focused my thinking on maintaining health.

Then, a trip to the ER and resulting Treadmill Test for the old ticker.

Turns out I’m OK, but that doesn’t end the concern.

I naturally thought about how my personal health affects the health of my business.

Then, about business health in general. How do you measure and improve it?

Attributes of a Healthy Business

What is it about a business that marks it as healthy? What characteristics make it ready for the long haul? What are the indicators to watch for to remain healthy?

1. Profits – At the end of any given day, a business has to be making a profit, or it won’t survive. Look at GM and Chrysler, lately. They have sustained massive losses over the years. They can’t make it up in volume.

They finally had to bow to the truth and file Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. I don’t foresee those losses ever being earned back, let alone being paid back to the out-of-luck lenders.

Make sure you have a suitable bookkeeping system in place, and stay up-to-date on the entries.

Be sure to pull an Income Statement every month, or every quarter at the latest. This statement allows you to look back on how your operations fared in the marketplace.

Profits? Good news.

Are they enough? That’s the next indicator.

2. Plan – Do you have a Business Plan, and are you keeping up with it? Do you regularly review the Plan’s action steps? Do you update the Plan with new information? Are you keeping pace with the projections?

If not, why not?

Do you have a Weekly and Daily Plan to work from? Do you know what you are going to be doing, today, to improve your business?

3. People – Are your employees helping your business, or are they hindering it? Do you have a hiring plan in place, or do you hire randomly? Do you have a defined and routine employee evaluation process? When you find an employee who is below par, do you coach them to improvement? Do you replace them if it doesn’t work out? Or do you collect dead wood – holding on to dud employees for a later fire sale when you go out of business?

4. Customers – Is your customer base growing? Are you serving more and more customers with better and better service? Do you have a Referral program or Loyalty program in place? Does your sales process capture customer information so you can follow up with them with later contacts?

What Else Measures Health?

This basic list of attributes will help you start measuring your business health. There are many more you can use depending on your business.

What are some of the ways YOU measure business health?

John L