Trust But Verify
Trust is one of the hardest things to come by and sadly far too often it is the one thing that gets broken easily in business. But when that trust is shattered by key people in your business or organization, the loss of trust hits home on a much more personal and painful level. You trusted your business leader to run the business when you aren’t around and to handle your money as if it was their own, only to find out that they have been stealing or ripping you off for years. Unfortunately, we see this far too often when clients bring us in to help them and we have identified the key reasons that business owners fall victim to this type of betrayal.
At Devoted Enterprises, we have a saying that “We guarantee that your business is leavings tens of thousands of dollars on the table each and every year for every location you own”. We have proven that true time and time again and can even tell you without even stepping foot into your business roughly how much money that is per store. Don’t believe us? Try us and #takethechallenge. Anyway, that number is always much larger of course when there is theft of services, products, cash or productivity. We have a process and have defined key metrics for you that will alert us to this without having to be in your store. So, you may be wondering, why is internal theft so common and why can’t it be prevented. The answer is very simple in most cases. It can be prevented when the problems are clearly defined. The problem lies in the fact that most businesses do not have systems and checks and balances in place that will alert you to internal theft and potential risks, and then lack the key metric tracking to monitor it over long periods of time. For an easy example, If you now that your cash flow on X amount of sales for 10 years has always been X, and now all of a sudden it is far below that number, you have been alerted to an issue and can address is before it is a long-term expensive problem. Sadly most of the time the theft is undetected to the naked eye and over time adds up to huge number. The reason this does not happen in most cases is that the business owner is a great owner and entrepreneur but that does not mean they are great at creating and monitoring key metrics or processes that will alert you to problems. And in most cases, your key leadership people do not have these skills either because they never learned them in their background due to their prior bosses not being able to do it either. And the cycle continues. There are plenty of statistics out there that can be researched that say 2 out of every 5 staff members will steal from you in one way or another. We actually think that number is higher when you consider all the ways that someone can steal from you. That theft can come from stealing items, giving discounts to friends or themselves, taking cash, or stealing productivity and many more. That’s right, you can steal productivity. Did you know that when we begin to work with a client that has major cash flow issues, one of the first 5 things we review is employee productivity (and we don’t mean productivity that your software can track)? And when we do that, we typically find that 25%-35% of your staff is not making you a profit after you pay them each and every week. What would happen if you found out that almost half of your staff isn’t making you money? What kind of other key metrics should you be tracking besides this one?
In this line of work, we have seen everything from millions of dollars embezzled over time, to hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and product taken from our clients by their staff. And most of that you will never be able to get back no matter how hard you try and the legal process that you pursue. The only way that you can protect yourself is to know all the ways that people can steal or take advantage of you, have a process and a system to flush that out, and have specific metrics defined that work along side those processes and systems and can alert you to even subtle issues that may arise. At Devoted Enterprises, we specialize in not only these types of services, but many others as well. Contact us today or call us directly at 952-582-4669 to find out more about how we may help protect you and your livelihood.