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Get Growing: Take The Business Alignment Audit (Part 1)

BAA can help you better plan, strategize, and grow your drycleaning empire

SAN FRANCISCO — Want to grow your business, your sales and your revenue? A special kind of audit can help you.

Don’t let the word “audit” frighten you.

An external Business Alignment Audit, or BAA, unlike an IRS audit, provides a wealth of non-threatening information and offers suggestions designed specificallyfor improving the value, profit and future viability of your company.

There are no fines, no penalties and no mandated requirements to change anything. You are in control.

Audit definition: Conduct a systematic review of.... (Can be anything, but in this case, of a business.)

Businesses are living, changing entities that either adapt to new environments or die. Many enterprise owners and their associates don’t even notice the unhealthy deterioration, because familiarity blinds them from seeing reality.

Whether healthy or slowly dying, all businesses can benefit from a professional impartial review.


Answer these challenge questions for yourself:

1. When did you last have someone outside your business perform an assessment of any department inside your business?

2. Do your friends, associates, employees, advisors or customers provide solicited or unsolicited feedback based on their experience?

3. Does that feedback relate to single aspects of the business or encompass broader perspectives?

4. Do you see value in the suggestions, praise, critiques or complaints?


Here’s just one example of how a BAA can help you:

Preventative vehicle maintenance can help avoid breakdowns and costly catastrophic repairs. It also helps your drivers depart and return to the plant on a timely schedule, thereby reducing plant downtime and/or overtime which affects total payroll.


Some of the benefits to having a BAA:

• Identifies gaps and inconsistencies between goals of personnel and departments with key corporate goals for achievement efficiency.

• Provides a map for correcting mismatched goals.

• Identifies best practices that can be replicated.

An objective professional outside source can more readily identify opportunities through a full audit of every department and process because they are not blinded by daily exposure or “we’ve always done it that way” syndrome.


The following BAA is a format proven to add value:

Business Alignment Audit

• Index

• Executive Summary:

      Introduction to Assignment;

      Key Findings From Pre-Project Team Preparation;

      Primary Goal(s):

          1 Year,

          3-5 Years,

          10-15 Years.

      Competitive Advantages;

      Key Opportunities;

      Ranked Priorities.

• Financial Results and Opportunities

• Company Structure

• Management Effectiveness

• Division/Department Goal Alignment

• Team Goal Alignment

• Data From Audit

• Branding

• Pricing

• Product Quality

      Relative to Target Niche

• Customer Service:



• Sales Structure & Effectiveness

• Marketing and Promotion

• Technology:

      Customer Facing;

      Partner Facing;


• Physical Plants:



      Retail Stores;


• Efficiency:




• Human Resources:



      Recruitment and Retention.

• Maintenance & Safety.

Note: The items on this BAA shown above, should be customized to your specific company, and the subsequent report should provide details regarding these three following examples: Specific actionable results of the audit; Suggestions for improvement; and, Estimated profitability resulting from the implementation.

Check back Thursday for the conclusion.

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].