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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 5
Issue 1

Do the Puzzle Pieces of Your Business Fit?

Businesses are made up of important and distinct yet interconnected functions. All businesses have products or services to sell, customers to please and finances to manage. The larger and more complex the company, the more the puzzle pieces need to interlock to build a complete picture and a well-run business.

In many companies, functional areas operate independently and do not communicate or cooperate with each other. For example, sales and marketing departments often conflict. Salespeople complain that marketing doesn’t provide qualified leads. Marketing people are frustrated because salespeople don’t follow up on the great leads they produce. Then the operations function (OPS) becomes furious when salespeople, wanting to close more business, over-promise so OPS cannot deliver. Customer service gets involved to save the customer relationship and compromises on price, which gets the goat of the finance department. This is counterintuitive to finance, which works to keep the company solvent and profitable. Does this scenario sound familiar? Rather territorial and dysfunctional, isn’t it?

Though you may have experienced this situation when working in a corporate environment, how does “your” business measure up? Let’s examine how to get the puzzle pieces to fit in a more constructive way:

  • Let employees in on the vision. The vision represents the picture on the puzzle box of the business. Knowing the end game helps your team work toward the same goals.
  • Keep communication flowing throughout the organization. Surprises create resentment and can cause major trust problems.
  • Help employees to see how they are interdependent. Build criteria in performance reviews for how each employee works with others.
  • Develop and support interdisciplinary teams. Make sure projects are geared toward company-wide goals so everyone is contributing in some way.
  • Build a culture that is based on cooperation. Sometimes owners can unintentionally be an accomplice to rifts by favoring one aspect of their business over another. Internally competitive environments, in general, discourage collaboration.

Interlocking the pieces of a business makes it stronger and more profitable. When all parts work together for the good of the whole, goals are met and the business is on its way to success.

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