Knowledge, Sustainability, and Succession
In a global economy, where competitive pressures are increasing every day for even the smallest of businesses, sustainability becomes as much a focus for the business as growth once was. Developing strategies for retaining profit margins, improving cash flows, solidifying supply chains, and streamlining operational processes is essential when designing the business to handle the stresses of a depressed economy. But knowledge management – investing the learning and experience of individuals into the DNA of the business – is also an essential element to sustainability and business continuity. When the entire realm of understanding of how the business runs exists solely in the proprietor or founder, there is little foundation upon which to build an enterprise. However, when this knowledge is turned into systems and processes which guide the operation, results are able to be reproduced consistently, and reliance upon key individuals is reduced significantly. This aspect of succession planning is often overlooked, but is THE essential element in business continuity.
Accounting professionals are trusted advisors to their clients, and provide much more service than simply financial reporting. The consultative approach, delving deeper into the business and looking beyond the surface-level numbers, is what business owners are looking for. You can help your clients see beyond the numbers to find ways to improve efficiency and profitability in the business, and to help turn individual knowledge into business knowledge, crafting a plan to retain and build on that value. That’s what sustainability is all about.