Structured help for small businesses doing it tough

We’ve been helping a group of users of our software doing it tough because of the drought, local circumstances and issues in their industries.

As a result of this pro-bono work we have created some structure around the assistance process. It begins with getting a good understanding of their business and ensuring they have an equally good understanding. It’s through this initial process that some good business changes are being discovered an implemented by the business owners themselves.

The biggest challenge to turning a small business around is the understanding of all the problems by the owners. While they know the business has problems, they are often in denial as to the specific nature of the problems.

To me, the place to start is the business data. This tells us how well the business in being run and the day to day performance of the business. If the data is rubbing then that’s the starting point – getting the operation of the business on track so that it can be measured.

We have a package of six reports which give us what we need to analyse any business and make benchmark comparisons. This is where we start along with photos of the business – it’s important to see the store layout and get a feel for the presentation of the business.

What we enjoy about this work is getting to use the analysis and reporting tools in our software in a very practical way. We often come out of a project with tweaks we want to make to the software here or there which help guide our users in a more practical way as they use the system. Our goal is to guide them to better outcomes before business really starts to fall.

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