Most of us are familiar with the saying “can’t see the forest for the trees” which, of course, means getting so involved in minute details that you cannot see the bigger picture. In our everyday lives, this level of focus usually does not cause major problems. In business, though, when management gets too involved in daily operational matters at the expense of other issues, important things can be missed.
The Big Company Advantage – The Aggregate, not the Detail
The problem faced by the owners and managers of smaller businesses is the sheer volume of information they confront every day. Large companies have multiple levels of management where information is reported to the people employed to analyse it and pass it upwards. Top management only sees the aggregate, not the detail.
Small Business Managers Bogged Down in Detail
Small businesses and companies run on minimum staffing numbers so it is inevitable that their managers become involved in the detail. Usually, there is no one else with sufficient authority to make decisions, allocate resources and act on reported information.
This is a scenario we have heard all too often from our clients. To help them get a better picture of the overall health and position of their businesses, we developed the Carbon Group Business Health Check. On their invitation, we examine every aspect of their operations with an objective approach to identify the areas that are under-performing.
Advantages of Having Outside Parties Examine Business Operations
There are a number of advantages to having an outside agency such as ours examine a business. We have no expectations and no vested interest in the outcome, other than to do our best to provide insights into the current position, future potential and a path to develop the business further.
An outside entity can make recommendations that may initially be unpalatable to management, as they may involve staff relocations or redundancies. Favoured products may prove to be losing the market share and need to be scrapped. Long-held beliefs are often challenged, especially in family-owned and run companies.
When an independent external body takes a microscope to a business, the final results, good or bad, are more readily accepted than if the review had been done internally. An external body also has the time and resources to gather the critical information, analyse it and prepare a suitable reporting format for its presentation.
Outside Parties Look at the Whole Forest
It is very difficult for a business owner or manager to firstly have the time to critically examine their own operations to this degree, and secondly, to look at the whole forest and not each individual tree. We are here to help them do that, and to take the business to the next level of profitability.