Enterprise

Proper control is key to success of your enterprise

control
murori

Summary

  • Business owners who feel they must be personally involved in, for instance in approving purchases, expenses or hiring and firing employees as a control tool soon realised they cannot grow their business in a fulfilling way.
  • The best and sustainable way of control is to draft and implement policies that guide employees on all processes whether you are directly involved or not.
  • Control helps employees and management work as a team and thus improve communication, productivity and efficiency.

There are four primary managerial functions of any enterprise. They are control, planning, organising and leading.

Of all these, control is arguably the most important as it is considered the foundation upon which all others rest.

Control is like a potent medicine, which English poet and playwright William Shakespeare said is good cure when used well and poison when misused. Control can kill or build an enterprise.

In common usage when we say someone, for instance, a boss, is controlling, we mean someone who insists on things done their way, who does not give others room to have their say or must approve or oversee everything that happens or goes on in an organisation personally.

Some of the reasons why people behave that way is they don’t trust others or they fear that things will go wrong if handled by others. Others desire to be felt they are in charge.

However, that is the wrong notion of control and in the end, it is not sustainable as many of us have probably realised.

Essentially control refers to processes, procedures and guidelines that regulate and direct and protect the enterprises' interest. They include things such as rules and regulations that must be followed by everyone, financial policy, operation manuals and routines that guide and direct day-to-day operations of a business.

Business owners who feel they must be personally involved in, for instance in approving purchases, expenses or hiring and firing employees as a control tool soon realised they cannot grow their business in a fulfilling way.

Furthermore, that is a very narrow and defeatist way of managing an enterprise. The best and sustainable way of control is to draft and implement policies that guide employees on all processes whether you are directly involved or not.

Controls help to minimise errors and check deviation from the norm so that corrective measures can be instituted on time.

Control helps employees and management work as a team and thus improve communication, productivity and efficiency.

When there are good controls, no one feels pushed, harassed or victimised because the roles, policies, and regulations are understood by everyone and when violated or compromised, everyone can see and know what to expect as a consequence.

On the other side, control if not used well leads to bureaucracy and added cost to the business.

Control can increase the burden of staff for the small organisation because one may need to have different staff doing different things and verification stages. Basically having one person do many functions such as selling, receiving payment and dispatching goods compromises the whole process making it vulnerable to fraud or undetected errors.

Being too rigid and reliance on controls may slow the implementation or service delivery to the chagrin of customers.

Too much control may make employees operate like machines without human faces when dealing with customers. In addition to disappointing customers in the process, employees may become demotivated.

Regardless of merits and demerits, as an entrepreneur, you must carefully consider the controls your put in your business that will enhance growth, create a good working environment and not inconvenience customers unnecessarily.

Mr Kiunga is the author of ‘The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market’