Sometimes it can be hard to know if it is the right time to add a new product line or a new project offering, or even if it is the right time to add to your team. What you may not realize is that each of these decisions falls under the umbrella of operational management.
As your small home-technology business brings in more revenue, attracts new clients and builds its brand, it becomes important for you to tackle operational management.
As owner, you’re the key manager of the business — for the employees, storefront, inventory and much more. Operational management takes your supervisory skills a step further and helps you focus on how you can better deliver your products and services.
What Does Operational Management Include?
The term “operational management” is an overarching concept that integrates all the individual processes you use to grow your business.
How you decide the cost of a product or service is a process within operational management. How you organize and track your inventory is also a part of it, as are the processes of educating workers, offering new services, scheduling and quality control.
This means anything you do to attract new customers and generate revenue falls under the umbrella of operational management. It also means these processes can be defined, reviewed and improved upon.
The 2014 CEDIA Benchmarking Survey found home technology professional companies experienced strong growth in 2013 over 2012, focusing on selling more upgrades/add-ons and expanding services/technical offerings. Not having a savvy approach in these areas could be costing your company business because of your operational management deficiencies.
So this all may sound intimidating, or you may be thinking that you already do some of these things. But operational management can be somewhat of a moving target as you try to remain agile in this ever-changing industry.
Within operational management are three distinct business functions that your processes can be divided into: finance, operations and sales. Two of these topics — operations and sales — will be covered in depth at CEDIA’s inaugural Business Xchange event. Two workshops offered at the Xchange have been created by taking business concepts used by Fortune 500 companies and applying these concepts to small businesses.
The Advantage Workshop, facilitated by Michael Lorsch and Kristine Kern of the Table Group, will focus on organizational health and the four steps to becoming healthy, including building and maintaining a cohesive leadership team and creating organizational clarity. This workshop will explore how to get healthy, with specific emphasis on the first two steps — building and maintaining a cohesive leadership team and creating organizational clarity.
The material is derived from the work of Patrick Lencioni and his books, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Patrick is the founder and president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm focused on organizational health.
The Trusted Advisor Workshop, facilitated by David Chow of Trusted Advisor Associates, will explore the impact that trust has on your bottom line. Consider what happens when a customer really trusts you: Your advice is taken; your insights are sought; decision processes are fast-tracked. When you have customers who say they’ll never leave you based on principle — that’s a huge impact to your bottom line. The workshop will provide a framework for evaluating trust and tools to improve your trustworthiness with customers.
The CEDIA Business Xchange will take place April 29 to May 1, 2015, at the Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake.
Registration is currently open, and early bird discounts are available until March 25, 2015. Quit wondering if this is the right time to make operation management a priority and take the plunge! To learn more, visit www.cedia.net/businessxchange.