As a Fix This Next coach we help businesses solve their problems. Many times this has to do with lagging sales or elusive profits. However, there are many businesses that are selling products and services and making money that can use help from the Fix This Next approach. Too many businesses lack order and organization that comes from efficient and effective business processes. How does this break down and how can you make your business more orderly and prosperous using the Fix This Next approach?
The Fix This Next approach to solving business issues starts with the “SPOIL” approach. This acronym stands for sales, profit, order, impact, and legacy. The system works because it forces you to always go back and identify the most basic issue that is stymying your business. It can be relatively easy to see that you are not getting enough sales or that your profit is no what it should be. But, recognizing that disorder and disorganization are your problems can be difficult.
There are so many ways for a business to be inefficient. We often point out to our Profit First clients that Parkinson’s Law is exerting its effect in wasted work hours and monetary resources. This “law” that says work will expand to take up all available time and its corollary says that not job will get done for less than the amount budgeted for its completion. This sort of wasted effort multiplies over multiple tasks to where it saps your profits but saps your strength as well. We commonly advise our clients to use business intelligence tools like QuickBooks custom reports to stay on top of both the big picture and the important details in their fight to stay efficient. But, this having been said, how do you approach this issue? The answer is to use the Fix This Next approach.
There are five basic steps that we use as Fix This Next coaches to make your business more organized and effective.
This fits in with the constant fight against Parkinson’s Law. When we work with our clients we look at each business activity and compare its efficiency to what we know to be industry norms. For example, if you are still keeping paper receipts, work with you to convert to a system like Receipt Bank and digitalized receipts. You won’t have closets full of paper receipts and all of your info will be readily available on the computer at tax time! The list goes on and on but the point is that many businesses have not upgraded to modern tools that make their work faster, more efficient, less prone to error, and more profitable.
First of all, you have work that needs to be done and you assign that work to an employee or a work group. Your instructions need to be clear and explicit with restricting the ability of your workers to come up with better and more efficient approaches. And, your management needs to be such that you know what your employees are doing and how well they are doing their jobs without using up all of your time.
The ideal situation is that your employee works for the good of the business by doing the work assigned and (because they are closest to the task) coming up with better ways to do the work and letting you know. Our job as your Fix This Next coach is to spot these sorts of issues and set up systems for tracking and fixing them.
When you begin your business, you can be in charge of every single detail. But, as your business grows you are either overcome with details or learn to delegate. Delegating outcomes is a skill that most need to learn as it does not come naturally. When you are used to being in charge of every detail, you will tend to give instructions that are clear, precise, and limiting. Your employee may do precisely what you said and no more. They will have often have a better idea of what to do than you do but may be afraid to bring it up. The cure is to delegate the outcome along with the task. Then track it effectively. This is more likely to get the job done on time, on or under budget, and with less stress for you. If delegating outcomes is a problem for you, contact us for help at Exigo Business Solutions.
You don’t need to have three people doing a job that one person can do. And, you don’t want people to be doing the same job over and over and wasting their time and your money. But, there are critical jobs and functions in any organization. And, you need to have those jobs covered when someone becomes ill, is ready to retire, or when the key person is overwhelmed and cannot attend to the job in question. Identifying the tasks that are critical to your business, making sure that more than one person is trained to do each of those jobs, and planning for when a key person retires or advances to another position are all key facets of efficient redundancy for critical jobs and functions.
There are businesses that have learned to handle all of these issues effectively. They are generally very prosperous and always respected within their fields. Not only does your business run more smoothly and profitably when you are organized but your reputation for mastery tends to bring you more work as well. As a Fix This Next coach, our job at Exigo Business Solutions is to help you get from fighting the effects of Parkinson’s Law all the way to being a company with a reputation for mastery!