Taking Control of Your Business

Taking Control of Your Business

Control. It’s a pesky term, with many definitions.

To some, it connotes management discipline and a process that leads to improvements. To some, the word is defined as a restraint or limitation. While many view the term as indication of power or influence. Which one is right in the context of business?

We submit that all are equally applicable to the small and medium business. As a business owner, you need to ensure that you are able to control your business – especially in uncertain times. Being able to grow revenues, increase profits, bring new products/services to market, and beat the competition requires that you understand your business, products, customers, suppliers, and markets. Yet, all are quickly changing all the time.

To help you gain or retain control of your business, we’ve identified eight areas that you must pay attention to and get ahead of:

1. Financial Controls: If your finances seem to be spiraling out of control, then sit down with your accountant and find out what is going wrong. Look at products, services, accounts receivable and payables, and cash to understand what to correct. Dig into the details of the business like never before.

2. Inventory Control: Inventory is the largest cash and expense killer in business. Too much inventory with no demand makes expenses soar. Too little inventory in times of growth kills revenues. Understand how you can manage inventory more tightly, getting to where inventory is slightly ahead of demand. Keep a keen eye on the sales pipeline to know what is needed; and a laser focus on sales to know what is wanted.

3. Customer Control: Some customers are not very good for your business. It’s that simple. They purchase very little but demand much of your time and energy. Alternatively, you have other customers that bring great opportunity and profit to your business. Sort out the good customers from the bad. Focus time and energy on keeping and attracting the good customers and send the bad ones to your competitors.

4. Time Control: The tyranny of the urgent is the enemy of success. Spending time on unprofitable activities is a sure recipe for disaster. Spend time on strategies and activities that directly contribute to increasing sales, profits, and customers and employee satisfaction. Take a break every now and then to recharge yourself and plan the business – learning how to avoid time wasters.

5. Operational Control: This is about how you deliver your products/ services to your customers with the greatest value and least expense. Renegotiate with current suppliers, test out new vendors for pricing, availability, and quality. Challenge your employees to achieve new goal around product/service delivery, rewarding those that move business forward. Don’t leave operations to chance.

6. Employee/Contractor Control: Often the largest expense to a business is when employees and contractors are hired then left to do their jobs. Get back in touch with all of your employees and communicate strategies and goals to ensure they have the best productivity tools, train them regularly and update their knowledge. Ensure everything they do is prioritized against the business objectives.

7.Technology Control: Email, voicemail, instant messaging, servers, internet connections, spam and viruses,… The list goes on. Technology can be a great tool for substantially growing productivity, sales, profit, and customer satisfaction. Or, technology can be a large distraction that keeps the business from focusing on the most important items. Simplify your technology and outsource what you’re not good at. Get back to running the business, not the technology.

8. Control of Yourself: Take charge of you. Start working on the business, not in the business. You’re the leader responsible for setting the objectives, marshalling the resources, removing obstacles, and helping others to be as productive and successful as possible. Get  above the ‘fray’ and think ahead of the business to chart new directions to revenue, profits, and growth.

To help small and medium business owners achieve control of their business, NextCorp has created the SMB Suite – a set of tools and services that put you back in control of the business. Offered as a monthly subscription, you gain immediate access to the information, best practices, reports, collaborative tools, supply chain integration, training, help desk, and technology management that directly contributes to gaining control in the areas described above.

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Steve’s been with SMB Suite since 1998 and has been involved with nearly every aspects of the Company’s business as a strategist, professional services executive, cloud solutions architect, and senior consultant. In his current role, Steve is responsible for SMB Suite’s revenue and oversees the execution of ERP, CRM and BI projects for customers across a broad range of industries. Steve combines his expertise in MS Dynamics GP, CRM and other Microsoft products with a strong foundation in accounting and business to identify gaps and streamline customers’ processes. Prior to co-founding SMB Suite, Steve was previously Corporate Controller for MEHLE Behr and, prior to that, Audit Senior for Ernst & Young. Steve holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jeremy is responsible for SMB Suite’s technology vision, strategy and implementation and is the architect of the Company’s Dynamics Cloud Platform. Highly adept in every facet of managed services, ERP systems and e-commerce platforms, Jeremy’s expertise spans the implementation and support of business and financial software solutions, as well as the customization and integration of SMB Suite’s cloud ERP technology stack. He holds numerous Microsoft and industry-related certifications, and was primarily responsible for designing the Company’s progressive business services platform in the early days of the Cloud. Prior to SMB Suite, Jeremy served as the financial analyst, systems administrator, and information systems liaison for a $2 billion financial services corporation.

Monty is responsible for SMB Suite’s day-to-day operation and, most importantly, its customers. As a leader, motivator and mentor, Monty creates loyal high performance teams willing to “walk through walls” to accomplish their goals. Prior to SMB Suite, Monty served as President of The Bradshaw Group (TBG), a global distributor, manufacturer, and repair facility for digital printers. In this role, he was the Company’s ambassador to its most important domestic, European and Latin American customers and TBG achieved a best-in-class Net Promoter Score of 74 for its superb customer satisfaction. Prior to TBG, Monty served as the General Manager of Sam’s Clubs three highest grossing U.S. stores and was named Regional Operator of the Year in 1999. Monty holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas Tech University and is an active member of Business Navigators. He has been active in Vistage International, Executives in Action, the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association, as well as, A.P.I.C.S., the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management. Monty also volunteers with Hunger Busters and ManeGait, a therapeutic horsemanship organization.

David is a proven financial and information technology professional with expertise in providing business accounting software and computing solutions. He began his career by starting and managing a successful independent consulting practice for several years. He then launched the local systems consulting unit of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services Group, leading the office into the hi-tech consulting arena. After successfully developing the unit for Ernst & Young, David founded NextCorp (which became SMB Suite in 2013) to serve the business software needs of clients throughout the US. David has made SMB Suite one of the best cloud ERP providers in the industry. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur and leader, he is a software and technology specialist, holding certifications in various Microsoft and other technologies.