To the small business owner / manager it seems that new legislation, layers of red tape and political correctness keeps bombarding their organisation from all ends and sides, taking up far too much of their valuable time.

Why then would they want to even read about suggestions for running a better business, let alone consider or adopt them? Quite simply, those organisations that take time to look at themselves and to review how well they perform and then act on the findings are the ones most likely to succeed.

Much of the red tape has to be complied with for many reasons, including Health and Safety. There is no legislation to insist a business analyses itself to see if it is performing effectively and efficiently (and also profitability if that is an objective).

It is unbelievably a fact that many organisations therefore choose not to analyse what they are doing or how well they are doing it. As well as all the legislative reviews, there should be all sorts of other reviews taking place; some annually and some more regularly. Staff performance and salary reviews should take place annually with a mid term performance review after 6 months.

Performance reviews of the Board, Management, Technical, Production, Finance, Sales, Marketing and Administration Teams should all be carried out monthly, with extensive analysis, resulting in corrective action if necessary, being done on a quarterly basis.

These are general guidelines that, if used, will automatically make a big difference to the success of any organisation.

Most important of all is to review the reviews annually to ensure they are effective, otherwise everyone could be wasting their time.

Originally written as a 1WAY2WIN piece for the Shields Gazette Business column in July 2006.

JHL MBE SSL Co. Chairman