I know countless business owners who declare they started or bought a business to gain their freedom, their "independence" from having to punch a clock or have a boss to set their schedule. They want to make their own rules, come and go as they please and set their own agenda. That’s exactly why I, too, wanted to be self-employed. However, I soon discovered, I was NOT as free as I thought I would be.
I've heard my fair share of "empty wagons" in my time — those owners of chaotic businesses who regularly go off on their employees when errors are made or equipment breaks down due to poor maintenance, and all those other unnecessary, system-busting errors that happen in a business. These kinds of owners and managers make a lot of noise but rarely offer (or even look for) a real solution.
Not meaning to get political here ... but, if any U.S President called your office, asking for you personally, would you not be (to say the least) curious, and promptly (after some mental adjustments) answer that call?
If you're a business owner or manager, you've no doubt interacted with seemingly intelligent people, with much expertise and impressive backgrounds; people with certain "know how," but who don't seem to get the WHY of an obvious situation.
When a lemon tree is ripe for the picking, anyone who has ever tried to deprive it of its fruit soon discovered it has thorns, and can be as self-protective and obstinate as some of the prospective customers you’ve met with, trying to get THEIR business, in order to grow yours.
A diagram of a Customer Experience Map is a great document to have in your Operations Manual.
Procrastination is a paralyzing quandary that many of us deal with on a daily basis in business. It's easy to become sidetracked, even immobilized, choosing to deal with non-essentials that require little commitment or perseverance, rather than face opposition or confrontation.
WHY do so many owners choose to endure PAIN on a daily basis? WHAT could I possibly say to convince them, that without written processes for their day-to-day operations, they are doomed to endure longer and longer hours, stress, errors, lost revenue, rework, sleepless nights, tears, internal backbiting, dissatisfied customers—two steps forward and three steps back?
What does a business owner or manager do when the PAIN OF DISORGANITIS strikes?
Your current business may NOT be your "calling;" however, if you take the cards you’ve been dealt—even if you feel stuck in a business you think now you should never have started or taken over—there IS a way out.
Marketing in today environment changes rapidly and it takes an effort to keep up. What if you had many "MINI-YOUs" to help get work done? If you have access to a written system, another person can do a task or process as if YOU were doing it yourself—a veritable MINI YOU!
Many of the budget-killing mistakes that risk customer loyalty can be dramatically reduced or eliminated by putting together simple checklists, and getting everyone to follow them. Ah, there's the rub, you say! How do you make systems work consistently? We found the way!
Podcasters have taken over my 40-plus-minute drive time most weekday mornings over the past few months. I especially enjoy listening to those who interview authors of business books. Last week, a certain guest author was speaking about his former boss who often shared his approach to marketing using the analogy of the habits of woodpeckers and peacocks.
My son Brandon, who had just finished a training session on our software with a new client, walked into my office the other day with a big grin on his face to relay what the client had just said during training. "Dad," he said, still grinning, "our new client told me his employees HATE the new systems."
Implementing proper systems for operating a business—and MEASURING incentive programs that are fair to the employee AND to the employer—is not for "mice," or the faint of heart.