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PASSION POTHOLES

Where do your customers fall through the cracks?

What are the gaps in your systems and processes that prevent you from delivering consistent results?

 One of the surest way to extinguish the passion for your work is to face customer complaints, pay for costly work re-do’s, or lose employees who are frustrated by chaos and disorganization.

 The answer is systems and processes for every aspect of your business operation.   Why?  So everyone is on the same page, the work flows smoothly, you get consistent performance and you can handle more growth.

I often say employers in entrepreneurial, growing companies do not “hire” employees they “adopt” them.  They put up with lack of performance, bad attitudes or incompetence’s because they don’t have time to train someone else. 

Well-documented processes and systems for each aspect of your company allow you to bring a new hire up to speed much quicker and have reference material for “how to” questions when you’re not available.   It also gives them a sense of independence and being “in the know” about how things are done.

Efficient processes also allow you to expand your operations systematically because you know exactly what needs to be done, how long it takes and what resources are needed.  Then you can multiply the formula, budget for the increase in costs, and predict the revenues.

I know this sounds like a daunting task, but I recommend you have the person who’s performing the function document it and put it in a binder or in a computerized file.  Also, new hires can take complete notes as you train them, type them up and put them in the binder.  In a matter of weeks you can have a preliminary procedures manual. 

If you’re in a growth mode, it’s also important to have job descriptions.  A couple of useful websites I’ve discovered for templates are: http://www.businessballs.com/jobdescription.htm and http://www.4expertise.com/job_descriptions.html

In addition to job descriptions, you need a “function” chart.  Unless you are fortunate enough to have one full time employee matching each job description, you have people handling more than one job or parts of several jobs.  This happens when someone leaves, and you don’t replace them; or you’re not in a position to hire all the help you need.   

I recommend you write down every single function in your operation and analyze 1.  Who is currently performing that function, 2. How that compares to their job description, and 3. Where there are serious gaps or overlaps.  You may be amazed at how things have gotten convoluted over time.  

In my work with clients I discover many examples of people doing work that is out of their scope of expertise.  But an even more pressing problem is when the owner is performing functions that they assumed in an emergency and should now be delegated!  Sound familiar?

 Suggested Action Steps: 

  1. In the next week, as you perform your work, continue to ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time at my hourly rate and expertise, or should I be delegating this task”?  
  2. Schedule an hour to review what documentation you currently have in place for procedures, systems or job descriptions.  Determine what’s most critical for your company to move to the next level of productivity and profitability.
  3. Meet with your management team to map out a strategy and timeline for writing, assembling and distributing the manuals.

TO SCHEDULE A COMPLIMENTARY SESSION TO REVIEW YOUR CURRENT FUNCTION CHART AND OPERATIONS MANUAL, CALL MARLA RIEGEL @ 303-456-0388.

 

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