In past "Shop Financials" columns, I have talked about several things companies can do to automate their businesses that will improve their profitability. I have talked about ideas that, if incorporated into a business, will give crucial information for the decision-making process on financial issues. I mentioned statements like, "If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it" and "Things that are measured tend to improve; things that are not tend to diminish."
In a column last year ("Shop Financials," Nov. 2000, page 40), Frank Fingers, a business owner who grew his company from a one-man shop to a $50 million company, mentioned several characteristics that are consistent with all successful companies. These characteristics are what this month