Strategy Focus – Guest Contributor, Rob Cannon

strategic focus magnifying glass

If we take the teachings from my recent post about the Strategy Revolution, that is – focusing on the customer first and foremost, there is another area of distraction that is fundamental to the business marketplace.  It occurs in businesses of all sizes, but is acute in the arena of private companies.  The problem is relying completely on your accountant to do all the financial work.  Accountants do a fine job at what they generally focus on:

1) Accurately calculating and presenting the numbers produced by the business for tax filing.
2) Devising strategies to lower the company’s taxes going forward.

Note that there is nothing in their activities to help you run the business more efficiently or effectively, it’s just not in their charter.   What you need to bring to the table, in addition to a focus on the customer, is a focus on making your product or providing your service as efficiently as possible.  This is a competitive requirement; otherwise someone else will take your customers away.  I have worked with clients in all arenas who don’t know how to use their internal cost numbers to manage effectively.   You must know your costs to be able to set competitive prices.  The old saw about good, fast, and cheap is prescient, pick two and knock the heck out of them.  That means you can choose which two of three to compete on.  The truly best can provide all three to dominate a market, speed, quality, and price.

Strategic CFO/Treasurer may have an accounting background, but they must be able to go beyond accounting and look forward to drive the operations to maximum performance though budgeting and workforce incentives.  A focus on the bottom line does not need to trump the overarching purpose of customer service, but rather works hand in hand to provide that service so that you provide it at the best value.

Robert Cannon is a principal at Cannonomics Inc.

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One Response to Strategy Focus – Guest Contributor, Rob Cannon

  1. Pingback: Get Your Focus Back on Running Your Business « Cash Accounting and Consulting

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