January 2, 2013 by Rick B
I’ll never forget a line from one of my favorite books, The Genius of the Beast, by Howard Bloom.
“Never stop asking, what is our business?”
You see, Mr. Bloom makes the argument that in business, many of us can get caught up in creating the “next big thing”, and can lose focus on the core business that has made us successful.
Personally, I am a dreamer. I believe dreaming leads to new ways of seeing, which leads to new ways thinking, which leads to new ways of doing; my creative infrastructure always starts with a dream.
From time to time, I catch myself spending too much time dreaming and not enough time focusing on my core strengths. In these moments I take a step back and ask myself a question, “What is our business”? Those 4 words are usually enough to get me back on task, and have even generated a few good ideas (at least I’d like to think so).
I have to believe I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Whether your business is starting-up, successfully thriving, or distressed, it never hurts to pause and ask yourself “What is our business?”
Are you a medical office, or a billing department? Are you a trucking company, or a collection agency?
The reason I bring this up, is so many companies are forced to spend precious resources (both human and monetary) on tasks that do not make up their core business.
Businesses of all sizes routinely outsource several functions: Payroll, accounting, distribution, accounts receivable, etc.
Outsourcing functions that are not part of your core-business can increase efficiency and provide an economical advantage. What would happen if all your employees were focusing on your business and clients? Would this benefit your company?
Business functions that are not part of your core-business offerings can start to consume valuable time and resources. Depending on your needs, outsourcing can benefit you in any of the following ways:
- Save space (the more people you have in-house, the more space you need)
- Cut down employee benefit costs (let the other company worry about healthcare reform)
- Reduce costs associated with training new people
- Stop worrying about employee turnover
- Increase efficiency by allowing employees to focus on the core functions of your business.
Any company that sends out a bill or an invoice will generally need at least one person (sometimes a whole department) to track payments, hunt down bad debts, send out reminders, and make countless phone calls to customers. If your business is finding this process labor-intensive and time consuming, you may want to ask yourself a few questions.
- Am I happy with our Accounts Receivable?
- What else could I or my employees focus on that would benefit our business?
- Can this be done more efficiently?
- Can this be done more economically?
This list is brief, and I’m sure you can think of more questions, but you get the gist. Tune in next week to learn more about outsourcing and finding that right extension to your business office.
In the mean time, never stop asking, “what is our business”?