Fix What You Have First
A forward-thinking business vision is important. Nevertheless, it’s more important that you FIX WHAT YOU HAVE FIRST, before taking the next step.
The old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” applies here.
Owners of messy businesses often have a compulsion for buying every newfangled piece of equipment, technology, or gadget.
But this tendency only adds to a chaotic business environment. Ironically, their justification is that they are looking for ways to expand and improve business. It “seems right” to them. Here’s another old adage, “that’s putting the cart before the horse.”
To their disadvantage, they seem unable to appreciate, much less FIX what they HAVE.
Quick story for more context:
A business owner/acquaintance bought multiple pieces of expensive equipment. He paid for special training up front to install it, hoping to expand their services.
Unbelievably, they did NOT install the equipment or receive the training for several years. He explained that, “Due to internal disorder and business, we had to place it on the backburner.”
More surprisingly, after storing the equipment just mentioned, they were now looking at purchasing other types of equipment and services.
It’s important to realize that with each added piece of equipment, technology or asset, new processes also need to be added. In short, this adds complexity to the overall business system, with NO consideration for the current existing disorder.
Unfortunately, NOT adding written procedures for new purchases to the company’s Operations Manual — for the training, storing, maintaining, insuring, and a host of other considerations — chaos only increases.
A system is a group of devices, equipment, assets, or an organization forming a network, especially for distributing something or serving a common purpose (i.e., computers, air conditioners, trucks, all business assets, business consumables, employees, and vendors, etc.).
The Fix What You Have Solution
As in any goal of great importance, and especially one that requires quality time and effort, THE DECISION to FINISH THE RACE, NO MATTER WHAT, is KEY!
In other words, the decision must be one of total commitment never to turn back until accomplishing the task.
Also important is, NOT to make a split decision. For context here, a split decision is one made by owner and employees jointly. However, employees are NOT responsible for the vision of the business owner. Yes, they can play a major role, but finishing the race is the owner’s ultimate responsibility.
The solution for fixing what you have FIRST — before buying, buying, buying — is to implement a business process management system for the care, the operation, and placement of every new asset purchased.
Did I mention? Great systems are THE FIX for what you have!
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.