Helping you plan, start and grow your business
Our Work: Garbage In, Garbage Out
A small business can become clogged with unwanted or unnecessary refuse. Our job is to keep it from degrading our productivity. There are several kinds of garbage – both literal and figurative — that can sink our businesses if we are not careful.
Managing our calendar is essential. It can be difficult to keep our attention on the most important issues. When I first entered the business world, I met with everyone who asked to meet with me. This helped my business education, but I eventually learned that most of these meetings were a waste of my time. Once I learned to say “no,” or could delegate, I had more time to focus on the priorities at hand.
Good process management can enhance our productivity. If our procedures take longer than those of our competitors, we may be at a disadvantage. A dislike of bureaucracy may have driven us to self-employment, so we do not want to end up creating an unnecessary quagmire. Likewise, sub-optimal equipment can cause frustration and result in an inferior product. As a result, it is likely to impact our ability to find and retain clients.
We need to reevaluate our processes regularly, looking for ways to improve them. New technology can make a big difference, but only if the time required to learn them is more than offset by savings elsewhere.
Insufficient Quality Control
If bad quality creeps into our business, we want to identify and rectify it before what we sell gets to our customers. In the data business, for instance, 25% to 80% of the total time spent on a project may be devoted to cleaning up the incoming data. Timely quality control helps us identify and correct problems before time and resources are wasted.
Influx of Unwanted Messaging
Every entrepreneur has a large volume of incoming messages to wade through: phone messages, emails, texts, instant messages, physical mail, tweets, LinkedIn messages, and more. We have to identify the important messages and handle them. This can take a tremendous amount of time. Partly, this has become the cost of doing business. However, establishing a regular process for dealing with this tidal wave of messaging will be time well spent. For instance, once I purchased a smart phone, I opted out of many email lists, thereby making my Inbox much easier to navigate. Focus on what is important and let go of the rest.
What garbage has crept into your business? What can you do to minimize or eliminate it?
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend