Business has been busy, hectic, troublesome, worrying, difficult, annoying and every other step seems to cause more hassles than you want. Customers calling with complaints, they want to speak with you as the business owner and no one else (they have spoken to everyone else and the buck stops with you!)
No wonder you are stressed, time to chill out and find some answers, it’s ok you can take a few more phone calls, I can wait… What’s that more complaints, more supplier challenges, more $$ out and less in… Oops! Oh and let’s top it off with a resigning staff member, two on sick leave and a bunch of others frazzled by all that’s going on.
Ring ring, sure I can wait… Oh it’s the Accountant, what’s that your tax is due to be paid and there is not enough in the bank to cover next-months wages… Now let’s sit and chat about what to do about it. Ok I’ll wait until you run out and yell at a few Employees.
Does this sound even vaguely like your business, times are tough, moneys tight and you just can’t seem to figure out what to do next? You start on one thing and another thing gets in the way, you put in long hours but nothing seems to work long enough to make a difference. What to do. Lets start with some questions. (I know it hurts but trust me you have to take the time to ask more of the right questions.)
- Do you have a strategic and operational plan of what’s meant to happen in the business?
- Are your key people doing more of the right things to take pressure off you?
- Is everyone striving to create service excellence?
- Are you leading by example when it comes to service excellence?
- Do you have a simple easy to understand guideline around great service?
- Do you know what your core business is?
- Do your key people really know what they should be doing?
- Do you set targets for people to meet which are readily achievable relating to service, sales, quality and general effectiveness?
- Are your people empowered enough to put out ‘spot fires’ when they happen or are they constantly running to you for answers?
- Do you know what your profit margins are?
All of these (and probably a whole lot more) are questions you should be asking. Some will have obvious answers some you will have to dig deeper for. My suggestion is that you ask your key people to help you with many of these things and see what develops.
I will go out on a limb here and say, you need a written plan of action based on strategies you and your team have had input into (many heads can be better than just one). I say I go out on a limb because there are a few trains of thought. A plan – No plan – Some plans. A mini business plan is better than no plan at all, and your people should be in a position to handle all of it without you.
Face it, in an ideal situation you would be actively involved in the business by not being there and making sure your key people are doing more of the right things so you can truly be the business owner and not the business operator. Now go and handle those cranky customers, put out some spot fires and fight off those creditors and annoying suppliers but make sure you make time to get the mini business plan started and get your key people to build on it.
Here’s an outline for a mini busines plan you can use right now to make a difference in your business. the-mini-business-plan