Innovation – A Short Story
After being given the spiel about how innovative, forward-thinking and well run the business is, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“How do I request a payment?” I asked, after not being able to find the right area on the computer screen.
“Ahh” said the owner, “hang on”
He opens his cabinet and pulls out a wad of pink notes.
Searches the office a bit more, and then pulls out a wad of blue notes.
Leaves the room and comes back with a set of yellow notes.
“Fill out the yellow note for any office money, the pink one for client money, and the blue one for transfers between client and office account.”
Confused…I then asked “So what’s that green one for?!”
“Ah, that’s for disbursements only.”
“You fill out each colour coded slip, staple them together and then go downstairs to the accounts manager. But before you go make sure you scan each individual slip and attach it to the file.”
After wasting time filling out names, references numbers and amounts between the slips I then went down to the accounts manager to hand them in.
“Thanks, you need to fill out the hand-written ledger book over there of what you’re processing before I can accept these.”
Which era have I stepped into here?!
How can requesting payments be so difficult when there’s software that can do it with a few clicks?!
Afterwards I created Word templates to replace each slip, and set up an email system for payments and accounts to be processed.
A very basic system. Yet the amount of time it saved made it revolutionary for the firm itself.
The point here is that there are millions of businesses that are profitable and “well run” according to the current owners, who are looking to retire.
But in reality the methods and operation are well out-dated due to technological advancement.
This becomes a problem for when they try to sell because their archaic methods make their business unattractive.
They then struggle to sell, and/or make serious concessions out of desperation to get rid.
However, for those willing to put the time, effort and energy into upgrading the current set up, businesses like these can turn into gold-mines after purchase.
So if you’re thinking of exiting your business within the next 3-5 years, now would be the time to prepare and set-up systems to make sure you get what you deserve upon sale.
On the same token, if you’re an owner looking to exponentially expand your current business, there is no greater method than acquiring an already established cash-flowing company!