Spend less time on numbers

 

calculatorThe concept of a CEO running a successful business and never looking at numbers sounds impossible and yet it is happening right now.

Take the owner of a highly successful retail business which was started many years ago and which now has many stores plus several ancillary businesses such as restaurants, clothing manufacture, shop fitting, farming, and so on.

The restaurants are provided with fresh produce from the farm, the clothing factory provides merchandise to the stores, and the shop fitting business services new and existing  stores.

All sounds perfectly logical.

So how does the owner run such a successful operation without numbers and what does he do with his time?

Enter a trusted “Rottweiler” chartered accountant who visits head office regularly and interacts not only with the financial controller but the business as a whole.

The owner of the business relies on this trusted advisor to keep him abreast of financial and other matters.

Some organisations are ambivalent about contractors and consultants, others will not use them on principle and some rely on contractors and consultants to introduce new thinking and effect change.

The owner falls into the last category and is constantly on the lookout of ways to improve and re-invent the business.

He is a strong leader open to suggestions but he does not necessarily act on every one.

That aside, he is a people’s person. He knows his head office staff by name and he knows many of his store staff. He is empathetic, but not a pushover.

The result is a happy but well directed workforce. The owner has surrounded himself and continues to surround himself with good people he can trust.

He gives them ownership and expects performance. He is not afraid of making tough decisions.

How many CEO’s get bogged down with meeting after meeting and how much time do they spend pouring over numbers?

Retail is all about people and innovation.

The moment a retailer stops effecting change and/or stops caring for the team members is the time that a new CEO is needed.

Successful CEO’s speak to the troops on the ground at every opportunity.

They are visionaries and they are entrepreneurs. If they don’t know every number in the business, so what?

Stuart Bennie is a retail consultant at Impact Retailing www.impactretailing.com.au and can be contacted at stuart@impactretailing.com.au or 0414 631 702

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