Updated: Feb 20
For the most part I think we will all agree that the health of a business is a key definer of the wealth of that business. It therefore naturally follows that the health of a business is of utmost importance to its capacity to function well and perform at optimum. The challenge however is that countless business entities are the subject of poor diet, improper supplements, no exercise and to top it off some are barely surviving on life support systems.
Let’s not mix matters, sustaining the health of a business is an ongoing process premised on a disciplined commitment to wholesome business practices which are enshrined in the DNA of the business as natural to its existence, and normal to its efforts to execute on a daily basis.
Remarkably however, the notion of periodic business check-ups are often seen as an interruption to many businesses and only treated with urgency when the aches and the pains of the business begin to materialize. In fact, some entities are reeling in pain, but with grit and determination continue to bear the pain thinking that somehow it will soon go away. Unfortunately, when it doesn’t and attention is finally given to getting a professional opinion and help, much irreversible damage has already been done.
Arguments for not getting a Business Health Check-up
The reasons tendered for either disregarding the need for a business check-up or delaying such are diverse, of which the following can be a cause for considered concern:
The business is healthy and there is no need for a check-up
Fear of unfavorable evaluations that may cause further concern or embarrassment
They may be in defensive mode and driven by a mindset that they are on top of things, with resultant expressions such as “who are you to tell me that my business is unhealthy and poorly managed”
Legitimate barriers such as high cost or cash flow constraints
What ever the reason, circumventing or ducking out of periodic business check-ups can tantamount to playing Russian roulette with the life of a business and especially so with the type of unrelenting exposure and demanding changes that have characterized the business and economic environment of recent times.
What is a Business Health Check-Up?
A business health check-up is a periodic assessment to examine the functional quality and general condition of a business and detect any deficiencies. Most importantly, the main objective of a business health check-up is to detect business threatening diseases at an early stage and eliminate or reduce their effect on the business through prescriptive remedying.
Benefits of Business Health Check-Ups
Among the primary advantages of periodic business health checks are the following:
Early detection and remedying of deficiency gaps and dysfunctional areas within the business
Prevention of harmful ailments crippling the business and resulting in untimely demise.
Addressing business specific challenges – for example, some areas may be functioning well, but others could be a drag on the business, thereby reducing its productive capacity.
As an organization matures, there are factors which they become great at and others that require attention ahead of time. A business diagnostic assessment goes a long way in helping to shape the thinking and long-term objectives of a business.
The environment within which a business is developing may demand business-style changes in order to survive. Diagnostic assessments are excellent for informing on such contextual matters that require organizational attention.
The historical experiences of a business can often inform its norms and on occasion have intimidated responses to development. Forensic reviews are great for root-cause analysis and if required, transplanting of failing organs or elements of the organization.
Periodic business health checks are excellent for informing on important areas for organizational transformation and inspiring change.
Without periodic assessments, it can be somewhat difficult determining an organization’s capacity to give birth to new areas of opportunity.
Of utmost importance, functional areas of the business may be the source of social and environmental ills, which if undetected and not corrected, can result in wider concerns and challenges. Responsible management of a business to protect and promote social well-being and environmental soundness, is fundamental to the very notion of preserving the capacity to remain in business.
Well, what else can I say; nothing like a good check-up and clean bill of health to motivate and give energy to living and taking the next step with boldness and confidence. You should really think about giving your business a Check-Up.
Jerry DaC Blenman, Executive Director of the Caribbean Center for Organizational Excellence Inc, is an experienced financial analyst and organizational development specialist with 30+ years technical, senior management and advisory experience in banking, financial planning, business diagnostic assessments, process improvements, performance management and capacity building.