Fires Can’t Live Without a Source
As a small business owner, “firefighting” (fires of chaos) was my daily routine, until learning that fires can’t live without a source.
In fact, this known truth was life-changing when applied to our business, simply by changing from “firefighting” mode to fire source removal.
The positive changes in our business happened rapidly in the form of new sales, error-free service and product; also, a clutter-free facility and happier employees. Not to mention, a happy me!
Sadly, many small business owners believe, firefighting in business is “normal.” Therefore, they accept those fires of non-conformance, without much push-back. To be sure, it’s NOT normal, in fact, it’s life-threatening!
According to the Small Business Administration, just half of small businesses make it beyond five years. And, very few make it to year 10.
Why? Because, many small business owners simply burnout from the daily stress of the fighting “fires” of chaos in their operations. Important to realize, the number of fires grows as the business grows. As a result, chaos consumes the business. At that point, owner’s give-up and look for ways to exit their business.
How to Remove a Fire’s Source
There are two methods to permanently remove a fire’s source:
1. Once detecting and putting out a fire, keep a written record of the fire, so as not to forget it. In addition, jot down some of the circumstances concerning the fire. For example, what caused it, those responsible, and the cost in time and money for the fire.
This method of fire control is known as, corrective action. In other words, finding the source of the fire, and implementing a system to warn or prompt employees before similar fires break out.
In fact, in our book, we share how we reduced fires of chaos in our business by 70%, using this method.
Remember, like real fire, extinguish and fire-proof the source completely, or the potential for smoldering embers to reignite is highly probable.
2. Detecting a potential fire source before it ignites, known as, preventive action is the best method.
For this reason, we freely share many document templates with those who are tired of the firefight, and are now committed to prevention.
Truthfully, only YOU can prevent fires of chaos in company operations.
So, don’t wait until consumed by errors and miscommunication, before installing a fire prevention system.
Did I mention? Great systems work to put out the “fires!"
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.