A Business Owner’s Catch-22
What is a business owner’s Catch-22? In short, it all revolves around TIME; that thing business owners always seem to lack.
Communicating with small business owners globally, it’s clear they mainly struggle with the same issues. Sadly, when discussing a FIX for those common issues, their defense is usually the same.
“I don’t have enough time!”
Strangely, they always have time to REDO a job or service. Why? They believe they don’t have a choice if they want to get paid.
Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel, “Catch 22,” told a fictional story of a WW2 situation where a bombardier finds himself in a seemingly impossible, no-solution situation.
All too often, business owners feel trapped by chaos and “no time to fix it.” Then catch-22 is their excuse NOT to get a handle on the disorder in their company.
To be certain, many owners work very long hours and weekends trying to keep up with their workload. But, that’s no excuse not to fix the root cause of time robbers.
Let’s be honest — the real issue here is procrastination, pride, lack of knowledge and a “give up too easy” attitude. All fixable!
We always find time for things we LIKE to do. But make no mistake; owners who fool themselves only prolong the agony caused by a disorderly business and life.
That being the case, how do you CAPTURE TIME, from the measure of time we are all given?
Since there are only 24 hours in a day, how do you free up hours of valuable time to permanently fix business issues?
A List of a Few Time Robbers
- Process Errors
- Looking for items lost in clutter
- Bottlenecks in workflow
- Estimated Hours versus Actual Hours to complete processes
- Lack of systematic delegation
Consider, when a mistake on a job or service takes (i.e.) six hours to redo; unfortunately, those six hours are gone forever.
Imagine, writing the number of lost hours on small pieces of paper every time there is a mistake or other issue. Imagine, placing those papers in a fishbowl for all to see.
Yep, it wouldn’t take long to fill that fishbowl to overflowing.
Try it, if you dare. But beware, you might faint!
There’s a better way to track lost hours. Let us tell you how we did it.
No, we didn’t write our waste on small pieces of paper and put them in a fishbowl for all to see. Nevertheless, we did use our System Buster Locator to track cost and amount of hours wasted in our company, caused by time robbers.
With our system, we could pull a report in less than a minute on all waste; by employee, department, or companywide. What is more, we could pull a report on waste for ANY given period.
You can bet we posted those results for ALL to see!
To be candid, when we pulled those reports for the first time, we were SHOCKED. The waste of time and money was inexcusable, not to mention eye-opening.
However, it was a strong motivator to continue our mission to ZERO DEFECTS! In addition, I was able to free up six hours a day to work on any part of our business or take a well-earned leave.
With this tracking system in place, we were able to PROVE that our systems for reducing chaos really started working.
So, what is the answer to a business owner’s catch-22 excuse, “We know we must have systematic change, but we don’t have time”?
Lose a little sleep until you see results. I guarantee, you will!
Must mention again, great systems work!
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.