About Control

Why Control is vital
Control is required for almost every area of our life. Our diet and eating habits have to be controlled otherwise our health will suffer. Our children have to be controlled otherwise their safety could be threatened. Our dogs have to be kept under control otherwise they could be a danger to someone else. Our speed on the road has to be controlled for our good as well as the safety of others. A football game has to be controlled by a referee otherwise it would be complete mayhem.

Everything has control in one way or the other. Operating your business is no different.

If you operate your business without proper controls it is like driving your car in the dark without the lights on. You would be able to hear the noise of your car engine and have a rough idea of the speed that you were driving at, but you would still be in a very dangerous situation unless you turn your lights on.

It is only when the lights are on that you can negotiate the potential dangers ahead.

Your business performs in exactly the same way. The controls are your headlights. And once the controls are switched on, you will be able to see ahead a lot further and avoid problems that could appear in the future. Having your lights on will also enable you to negotiate the pitfalls and the corners that always arise in most business situations. Having proper controls in place will enable you to run your business more efficiently and with the systems that you have developed, enable the red flags to go up when it appears that a danger is ahead.

Planning and Control
Planning is important to success in everything that you engage in, including your business. Everyone basically knows that they need to plan for achieving their business objectives and yet many small business owners do not bother at all. The main control mechanism will involve the development of a business plan for the business.

While the traditional business plan is designed to be used as a tool for attracting investment capital or to satisfy the requirements of a current lender. This type of approach is not always helpful to the small business owner. A better approach is to develop a business plan which is essentially an operations manual that details what needs to be done, and how it is to be done in every area of the business.

This operational manual will require control in the areas of sales and marketing, financials, technical, accounting and day to day operations. Too many businesses seem to “fly by the seat of their pants” for too much of the time. They need to regain control of their business by putting in place a simple system which can monitor their day to day progress to see what  was being achieved.

" A good plan highlights weaknesses ..."

A good plan highlights weaknesses in the operations. That enables the manager to better determine the direction of the business as well as how to lower its costs or increase its revenue. There is no doubt that control requires a plan and that actual results need to be measured up against that plan as part of the control process.