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Know Your Own Business

Know Your Own Business – your success depends on it.

Great success requires great leadership. Great leadership is an art and a science. Great leaders know their purpose, know their people, know their business. The art of leadership is one thing, but the science… can we help with that and so can we make more leaders Great Leaders? In turn, driving great success?

The answer is ‘yes we can’. We can help leaders know their business by providing the insight, the perspective, the intelligence that presents the picture to enable decisive decision making. Interestingly this delves into the essence of what digital transformation means. Making a business fit for the digital age means knowing your business in a way that was simply not possible in previous eras. The revolution in data science and the move to the cloud means that there is less excuse for scale to inevitably lead to complexity and inertia.


Do you Know Your Own Business? Really?

This term, or its shortened version “Know Your Business”, has been coined in the Compliance sector to mean “know your suppliers”. But in this digital age, unless you know your own business, you cannot answer a number of important questions including:

  • Am I performing to my potential?

  • Do I have the right information about my own business with which to make smart decisions?

  • Do I know the risks my business runs?

  • Am I compliant with legislation that impacts my sector?

  • Are my SaaS suppliers delivering the service and value I want, or are we in hock to them for ever greater licence sales?

  • Will my business valuation stand up to the scrutiny of due diligence?

These questions and more have one common theme: to be able to even start towards an answer you need to know your business. There are of course many facets to this. And you will probably be expecting the focus to be on exciting things like data, analytics, KPI dashboards. All those have a key role. But none are of any use unless you have the basics right:

  • What is your organization structure and does it support your goals?

  • Who is responsible for what?

  • What are your key business Processes!

These are the basic building blocks.

The extraordinary thing is that most businesses cannot describe these basic features of core corporate DNA. The less extraordinary thing is that those are the businesses that are underperforming, even if they don’t realise it. The superstars of the corporate world get this stuff right – and make it look easy. Not forgetting that as businesses go through their own lifecycle they have to constantly re-invent and update their own corporate DNA in order to keep up with their own pace of evolution.



There is nothing radical in this article. But pause to think about it and you will most likely recognise some truth in the basic notion that getting your own house in order is not just difficult but generally not a priority in the fast pace of day-to-day corporate life. And yet it should be if you want to reach your goals.

And if you do recognise some truth in this, the next step is not difficult – task someone with an independent mindset to take a critical look at whether you ‘Know Your Own Business’. They can ask some simple questions and the answer will be all too obvious.

To tackle complexity, you need perspective. Our Practice helps clients get the basics right, enabling the rest to look after itself and you to flourish. Here at Marjolo, we can help you to ensure that your business’s processes are optimised. Contact our practice lead, Angus Sim, to start the journey to knowing your own business better by emailing him at: You can also take a look at our Process Optimisation service in more detail here.

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