Did your New Year resolutions include sprucing up your business systems? Whether or not you feel they might need it, now is a good time to review them, when you and your staff are full of good intentions for the year ahead.
One of the ways you could approach this is to look at the different functions within the business separately, and then consider how they all fit together in the bigger picture. Everything that the functions rely on to perform efficiently and effectively must be well oiled and linked smoothly into the overall system of a profitable and developing business.
Hardware and Software
Is everything up to date and compatible? Is it all in good working order? Does it do everything that is needed at a reasonable speed? Do you have enough workstations in convenient places? Do you have enough free hard drive space? Do you and your staff find it easy to use or does it slow your productivity? Do you need to adjust your budget in this area or is there a time when you should plan to do so?
Training and Development
While you undertake the review, consider whether there are new areas in which you or your staff need to be trained. Make notes about this as you go so that arrangements can be made as soon as possible.
Do you have a disaster recovery plan documented and kept off-site? Have you documented all procedures so that someone else could pick up where you or your staff left off? Do you have all the written policies that your business needs?
Are you confident that you have done all you can to keep your systems secure? What access controls are in place? Do you change your passwords regularly and insist that your staff do the same?
Being Your Own Internal Auditor
In a small business the owner often has to perform the role of internal auditor. You have to keep a finger on the pulse of everything that is going on. Reports from an outsourced bookkeeping service could be a really helpful element of your business systems.