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Business Audit: Comparing Apples and Oranges

Business Audit_Comparing Apples and Oranges

You can’t compare apples with oranges and that’s what it comes down to. We’ve been told this time and time again, don’t compare apples with oranges. But the problem is people know what an apple looks like and people know what an orange looks like, but people don’t know when they’ve bought a lemon. Pretty clever what I did there, I thought. Anyway, so what are we going to be talking about is removing and unveiling what’s behind the curtains. This comes down to any service that isn’t really tangible and you are led to believe that the person that you’ve got doing the service is doing a good job. Now, this can be bookkeepers, accountants, solicitors, lawyers, anything like that. IT people, marketers, SEO people, SCM people, ad-words people, all these people. Unless you’re in the industry and you can double-check and cross-check what they’re doing, you don’t really know if the voodoo that they do is any good.


What Are Your Agreements?

You know the voodoo that you do is good, but you don’t know what they’re doing. And that is a problem for your business because you don’t know if you’ve bought an apple, an orange or a lemon. What’s worse is most of the time you don’t know until you find out that it’s not working. Depending on what that is, if it’s not working, that can cost you a lot of money. If your agreements, terms and conditions, confidentiality agreements, nondisclosure agreements, anything like that that you’ve had organised and sorted out through your solicitors have not become bulletproof, then you got problems and that can cost you a lot of money. Similarly, if you’ve been spending lots of money on ad words and search engine optimization and organic ranking and all that other stuff, onsite, offsite SEO, and you find out that it’s not really working, but you’ve only been told years later, you could have spent thousands of dollars.


An Unfortunate Example

Sadly more recently I was going into a business to do an IT audit and marketing audit. When I did this business IT audit, I found so many problems. Now I went into to do the business IT audit but when I left, I had left showing them how many things are wrong with their marketing. Now we don’t do marketing a whole bunch. We do it a little bit, we do it enough. But our bread and butter is definitely around IT Security know you as much as what it would be otherwise. So the things that we found, that we’re spending about $2000 a month on the ad-words and search engine optimization. I said, “What are you getting for this?” He listed off a bunch of fantastic wizbang marketing words that he’s been told obviously. And I said, “Okay, so how are the results?” He’d been doing this for quite a while, “Well they said it takes a long time.” I said, “It does. Actually takes two months to six months before you get any real traction instead of nine to 12 months before that traction really gets flown into gear.” But what was upsetting is they hadn’t seen any traction. They’ve been spending all this money and I couldn’t see anything to show what they were doing was actually of value. That’s what you need to always have.


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Get a Second Opinion

Have someone else that can come in that can do a second review. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to be changing services, it’s just to keep them in check. It doesn’t mean that the person that you’ve got doing whatever they’re doing is doing it wrong. We see a lot of web designers out there more and more now that they’re making it easier to make websites and we’re seeing more and more poorly made websites. It comes down to, they may be designers or really good at just finding templates, but not very good when it comes to the technical aspects of it. Most all of them are not coders. Most all of them are not really there doing the development of the site. They’re just copying and pasting stuff into spots. And that’s a problem because you end up having this inefficient website and you spend a lot of money on it and you don’t know that. You’ve thought you’ve bought this beautifully awesome Pink Lady apple and you haven’t, you’ve bought this Bush lemon, but they’ve painted it red and made it sparkle. So making sure that you’ve gone the right path and you’ve got someone else double checking the accountability for every aspect of your business that’s dealing in non-tangible professional services. If you’ve got anyone giving you professional IT services, make sure you get someone else into an IT audit.


Let Us Try Hack You

We have some pretty cool guarantees. We have a, let me hack you test, where if you ask us, “Can you hack us?” We’ll give it our best shot. If we approach you with the, let me hack you test, it generally means we already know that you’ve got a pretty good surface area to be attacked on. So we will upfront money and we’ll say, “Look, if we cannot hack you, we’ll give you two grand.” Depending on the size of the business, 10 grand, depending on the vulnerabilities, 20 grand. It doesn’t matter the number, we know that they might be being managed very well. We’re doing it in the best of heart with the best of intentions. That is just to show them what their current company is doing may not be necessarily what they think they’re doing. When you hire a web designer and you think the web designer is going to make you this awesome spaceship, they might not be that great at making spaceships. The same thing as someone who’s really good at drawing cars may not be that great at designing engines. With a website, you need to have someone who’s good at both or a team.


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The Final Word

So keep in mind, any professional services that you have throughout your business, have them cross checked, double checked by another company. It doesn’t mean that you’re asking the company you’re with to disappear, it’s just to make sure that they’re doing what they’re meant to be doing. Shed some new eyes on the same problem, and make sure that that royal Gala or Pink Lady apple that you got is exactly that and not a rotten tomato or a Bush lemon. So I hope you’ve enjoyed this and I’ve found myself becoming rather hungry. If you could let me know if you have any other types of professional services or times that you’ve had issues, that’d be really interesting to hear how you managed to overcome those. And if that costs you a lot of money or if you got out scot-free. Jump across the iTunes, leave us some feedback and I look forward to speaking to you soon. Stay good.

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