Q: As I look at the structure of our company I realize I don’t have my arms around all of it.  What is the best way to get and keep everything under control?  

A: Growing a business is complicated. The crucial decision in business is deciding what NOT to do. There are many moving parts, and no one is an expert in every area. Owners that start restaurants are predominately operators, 8/10 started at the entry level. They’re wonderful at engaging employees and guests and reacting and fixing issues. As a business grows the needs of the business outpace its founder(s). Staying current in all areas simply isn’t practical and it draws away from what makes a business successful, great operations. Entrepreneurs have weaknesses in key areas and need to depend on experts to advise and guide on processes and procedures. If a decision is to hire and staff administrative functions internally, the owner is dependent upon the knowledge and honesty of the people hired. If key people were to quit or not work out the owner is right back in the same vulnerable spot of hiring for positions that draw away from operations.

 

To Stay Current and Follow Best Practices Outsource in the Following Areas:

Information Systems

The dangers of protecting consumer and company data are real. Ransomware is an industry of its own and is the number one threat to business. According to Barkly, a company is hit with ransomeware every 40 seconds and an individual every 10 seconds and has grown 800% year over year. During Q3 2017 malicious email grew 85% from the prior quarter as prolific attackers launched massive ransomware campaigns reports proofpoint: Q3 Threat Trends. Threats are accelerating, malicious URLs alone witnessed an increase of 2,200% year over year growth. These are just two threats computers and POS systems are exposed to daily. Information systems specialists can help with the right protection to reduce risk.

Legal

As regulations have continued to layer on business, having a strong legal team is essential. Source a firm with wide areas of expertise that specialize in hospitality. If you don’t have a need right now, you will sooner or later. Having a team ready is not only important but also wise.

Accounting and Tax

Quality accounting work is rare. Most owners don’t know how a balance sheet works. If prepared incorrectly or unreconciled, the balance sheet is where inaccurate data lives that manipulates results through the P&L. Unless you have a background in accounting you’re at the mercy of your bookkeeper or accountant. The thought your CPA will uncover fraud or clean up inaccurate data is mistaken, it’s not their job. Hiring a qualified internal accountant or developing one from within is difficult at best and risky. You can’t teach what you don’t know, an internal accounting department can be costlier, expose the company to risk, reduce the value of your company, and trigger regulatory agencies that can slow the company down. For taxes, using a CPA firm to perform planning and filing is a great investment and will keep compliance with the IRS.

 

Using outsourced providers in key areas saves time, improves efficiency, provides expert resources, reduces technology costs, relieves risk, increases value, and provides state of the art systems and tools. Outsourcing allows focus on what you do best, operations. Surround yourself with a team of experts and you’ll see risk minimized and profits soar.

 

For a more information on improving profitability and driving sales, contact AMP Services at rbraa@ampservices.com. Rick Braa is the founder of AMP Services, a Seattle restaurant accounting and consulting firm specializing in helping companies grow profitability.