Tips from the Top - April 2016
Making an “Oh S%#t” List
Something that I’ve found to be helpful when I feel overwhelmed by the business is to create an “Oh S%#t” List. This is a list of all the major challenges and stresses I am facing in the business…Read more
Contracts with Signing Deadlines
Our sales process was often stalled once contracts were submitted due to clients taking weeks or even months to review and execute them. We were frustrated since delayed contract execution translates directly to lost revenue for our company…Read more
When you are trying to get your people to focus on doing profitable work, not just maximizing their billable hours, sharing the context is key. Employees and management need to understand the “why.”
Otherwise, people will continue to do “busy work,” your projects will be at risk to run over budget, or your clients will be unhappy with the results of their investments. This holds true with any other change in behavior you are trying to achieve; explain the “why" from their perspective.
Let Procedures Be Your Training Guide
I'm a big believer in written procedures for so many reasons; however, one of my favorite reasons is that they help me train a new employee. Not only is extensive and repeated explanation not the best use of my time, but I have a tendency to take short cuts simply because I'm so experienced at getting the job tasks done. That can actually confuse or slow down a new employee, whereas written procedures provide them with consistent guidelines for each process.
Relevant IT Transition
When implementing a new IT system, bring over only customers, vendors, and SKUs with a current balance or activity in the last six to 12 months. The data scrubbing and set-up is time consuming, so don't invest time in old data that is likely not to be needed in the new system.
Use What You Already Have
As we were talking about time management, it dawned on me that often we forget to use tools that are already easily accessible to us. Our phones have so many tools that we can leverage. Voice recognition has come a long way; it can be used for texts, emails, calling folks (you can speak while driving), and more.
Our phones have a tremendous amount of technology that can be leveraged to help with time management. Explore and let me know what you think.
One of the best things that ever happened to our company was our banker demanding that we present our financial status whenever they asked for it. They rarely have, but we have instilled the discipline to be prepared for the “on the spot” inspection. It has been an excellent practice, and I advise our clients to adopt this practice.