muddy's guiding principles: healthy finance

Our series on Muddy's eight guiding principles--featuring eight guest posts by eight great Muddy's gnomies--continues this month with a post by the gnomie-of-many-hats Kip. Kip (also known as Kat's brother) has been with Muddy's since its opening in 2008. You've recently seen a lot of him as the interim manager at Muddy's Midtown, but (while he will miss seeing the Cooper customers on a daily basis) he is excited to soon be free to focus full time on his position of VP of Operations.

When I was asked to write about one of our Guiding Principles, Healthy Finance, I immediately thought, “How am I, a former promotions writer, going to do this?” Let’s take a crack at it.

“Healthy Finance: the unknown tricks that can keep your business afloat and help earn YOU more money, Tonight at 9 on the Muddy’s Bake Shop Blog!”

Well, I guess since I’m no longer writing news commercials I should expand a bit more and pretend to be the journalist this time.

What is Healthy Finance? It’s an acknowledgement that, although most folks don’t like the “numbers” part of management, financials are very important. Poor finances will ruin a business because at the very core you must have money to operate. Openly acknowledging this helps to keep it more in the front of your mind on a daily basis.

About three years ago we started an experiment with Open Book Management, the largest part of which was Open Book Finance. With this system the staff at each location has a weekly meeting where we review key financials for the week before. Sales, labor, waste, and supplies are some of the bigger things we review. We discuss those items: why they were what they were and what we think they’ll be the next week. By doing this, thinking about our financials becomes part of the daily conversation and guides staff members in making decisions and being more careful with product, equipment, and customer service.

Healthy Finance also affects how we, as a business, operate on a higher level. Equipment purchases, new product lines, or even employee perks are all tied directly to the question, “Is this a responsible use of our money?” Too often businesses take out loans or leases on equipment because they want to buy it now. Sometimes that works and is necessary, but often it’s better to set a goal, save for it, and then just buy the item outright.

Regularly referring back to the Guiding Principles helps us make the best decisions for our company that will ultimately get us closer to achieving our Mission Statement. Healthy Finance is simply one of the concepts we focus on in order to get there and be the best we can be.

This has been Kip Gordon with Muddy’s Bake Shop, good night.


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