- Donna Sooter
Fix this Next: The Third Level, Order and Redundancy
I’ll begin with two quotes from the book that really resonated with me. “You are not a business owner if the business owns you.” And “Stop doing for your business, and start designing your business to run without you, permanently.” That is the goal – isn’t it. To have a business that is working smoothly without you. It allows you to have the lifestyle you want.
Wasted Effort – Do you have a bottleneck in your business? You know that place where the work stops flowing smoothly. A time where part of your team is busy, and part are waiting around for the work to come to them. Bottlenecks happen all the time. For me, that’s around our Quality Control processes. It’s an important aspect of our process because we want to make sure all financials are complete and accurate, but boy can we get jammed up.
Role Alignment – Are you people’s roles matched to their talents and is it what the company needs done. Another question to ask yourself is – if one of my team members left would we be able to continue doing business as we always have?
These are things I asked myself last year and realized that if our key team members leave, we would feel the impact for months. We are still in process, but we got busy documenting and cross training. This helped solve the bottleneck in our QC process. Now we have a couple people that can jump in and make sure financials are correct.
Outcome Delegation – Have you given people permission to solve problems? This can be a huge bottleneck if all your people come to you to solve a problem. There are several ways to delegate problem solving. A couple of my personal favorites are: Putting guidelines out for your team to follow. For example, if you have a collection problem, you can give a team member permission to create payment arrangements with the client inside 60 days. Another way to help your team learn to make decisions is have them tell you what they would do, then tell them what you would do. This helps them to see your thought process rather than just your answer.
Linchpin Redundancy – Can your business run without your key employee? Do you have one team member that seems to hold things together and when they are gone the impact is felt like lighten bolts? It is great that you have that one person you can always depend on; however, even they deserve a vacation. Take time to train other people on pieces of there job. Maybe even decision their job to manage other people doing that same work. That can free them up to do other valuable things.
Mastery Reputation – Are you known for being the best at something? Many companies, including mine, have made the mistake of doing all things for everyone. Some of my offerings are a direct result of request from clients. However, when I look at the profitability of those offerings, they are often the things I’m losing money on.
Look at what you do. Are you able to streamline it? Are you able to scale your services? Can you easily find people to work for you? Maybe it’s time to limit your offers to a select few that you can be known throughout the community as “the best”.
Once again, I hope I’ve intrigued you enough to read the book and think about doing the assessment.