A Holiday Gift Even Mr. Scrooge Would Love

I guess thinking about systemizing your holidays might sound a bit, um…austere? Not really warm and fuzzy, festive or spontaneous—maybe something Mr. Scrooge would appreciate?

Many Christmases past—when the economy was booming—it seemed there was never enough time for the truly important things I wanted to do; not if I was going to make sure our print orders got out on time. I was always too bogged down in day-to-day operations. But, that was before I encountered the Ghost of Christmas Future, repented of my disorderly business practices, and started systemizing my business—even how we managed the holidays!

The holidays are not only a special time to spend with family and friends, but also a time when many business owners want to express thanks to their customers in a meaningful way. But, the way it always seems to happen is that a week or so before Christmas an employee has to be sent scurrying out of the office to buy some quickly chosen cards or ready-made baskets of this or that, with little thought or preparation. Then the mad dash to a jammed post office!

The sadder thing is, some companies fail to get anything special for their customers because they simply run out of time. Now that seems more like Scrooge to me!

So, what prompted me to write about this blog so early in the holiday season?

Today, as I began writing this article, I received an e-mail from “Jennifer,” my Production Administrator, who was setting up our annual meeting to plan and decide how to thank our customers this year. Wow, at first glance it would seem Jennifer is already full of Holiday Spirit and cannot only manage our production, but remember even small details like Christmas cards! Not to downplay Jennifer’s considerable know-how, but TRUTH is…she was prompted by a cold, spiritless system.

Philip Beyer, founder/president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products LLC in Nashville, TN, is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant, author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business," and an InterTech Award recipient for the design and development of System100™ business process management software. Philip speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses.
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