Take it from the CEO of Jetsmarter (a.k.a the Uber of Private Jets), Sergey Petrossov: reducing time and effort wasted on inefficiency can revolutionize your whole business. He upped his company’s annual business by over seven times, simply by spotting an inefficiency.
Common inefficiencies stem from a lack of communication, getting stuck in outdated procedures and a constant search for something new (the shiny object syndrome). Therefore you have to root out these inefficiencies so that your business can run smoothly.
This requires shrewdness, a can-do attitude and professional coaching.
Are you ready for it?
#1: Know Every Inch of Your Business
Knowing every inch of your business means observing what you are currently doing and asking yourself:
Do I have a clear understanding of what’s important and what’s not?
Am I simply focusing on each task or crisis as it comes along?
Can these tasks be systematized?
Observe your current patterns to determine your strength. Then, apply those useful principles to the rest of your business to systematize the entire process. You can‘t really be objective about your company’s situation if you’re constantly carrying out daily tasks, as the ‘doer.’ You have to step back, zoom in and observe.
“Those who are most successful are capable of ‘higher-level thinking’ – i.e., they are able to step back and design a ‘machine’ consisting of the right people doing the right things to get what they want.” – Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund
This is the only way to create a system that allows you to remove yourself and let the business take care of itself. Principles by Ray Dalio is a great resource to learn more about this approach. As is Work the System by Sam Carpenter.
Once you’ve built your machine, improve it over time. Create a solid diagnosis of your goals and the problems blocking their path so that you and your team can stimulate creative solutions.
Google was famous for empowering their employees with ‘secret’ information and involving them in Q & A meetings where they could openly discuss anything with anyone. A clear and open communication flow can help you identify bottlenecks, generate better ideas, and build an effective business machine.
Would you agree? If so, you may benefit from a mastermind group that allows you to brainstorm core business challenges with fellow CEOs. Get that conversation started.
#2: Determine What Your Communication Strategy is Lacking
Don’t just say: “I can’t transfer my knowledge to my team.”
Instead, Ask yourself:
Which team member, and why?
Is it a problem of time or a lack of shared language?
Lack of clarity?
It’s Only when you’ve identified a problematic pattern can you get to work designing a solution. Get your team in the habit of raising issues and risks that they feel are out of their control or impossible to deliver.
Communication is a tricky problem for most organizations, but it is absolutely your responsibility as a business owner to get it flowing.
So, Make your vision and your values available to your team in file that is accessible to everybody in your company. This way your employees and contractors can keep coming back to whenever they are unsure of the direction of your company. Having a set of principles accessible to everyone means you don’t have to constantly re-exert effort to explain yourself. Document everything, including common Q&As, guidelines etc. Have them organized and updated, often.
Good ideas come from all places. If you have a team that understands company goals, encourage them to ponder and speak up. Let them bring their disagreements into the open where it can be discussed and settled logically.
Are you taking advantage of communication tools like Slack, Basecamp or ProsperWorks? Use communication technology to automate internal processes while decreasing inefficiency, human error and unnecessary delays.
Bonus tip: Outlaw long and complicated emails. Communications should be razor-focused on a task, an update, or a process.
#3: Remove Bottlenecks with Technology
Leveraging technology is the best thing you can do for your business. The benefits are endless: smoother operations, greater customer experience, increased productivity and higher profits.
Jetsmarter made it easy for customers to access technology and information by letting them directly schedule their flights through an app.
As a result, agents were removed as a booking bottleneck and re-directed towards other tasks.
For better or worse, every company is now a software company. There are hundreds of applications that can be used to run business tasks. It’s all about connecting people, processes, technology and data.
For your business to run smoothly and be highly adaptable to market needs, it needs digital integration. Use the proper tools to get you from knowledge to action in a systematic way.
How can you empower your business with technology?
Every industry has different needs.
Companies with manufacturing, transport and large investments may need to improve operations and take advantage of their infrastructures.
Other companies may want to focus on customer relationships and platforms.
Use technology to support your own goals, decreasing the amount of time and effort that you as a business owner need to focus on daily operations.
#5: Define the Roles and Responsibilities of Your Staff
Did you know that there is a significant relationship between employee performance and clarity about roles and responsibilities?
According to one study: “Role ambiguity, which is absence of clarity for the roles, is considered to be one of the great bottlenecks for the effectiveness of the team.”
The research went on to indicate that employers who are clear about performance, evaluation and delivery improve their business tremendously. Not only are employees happier with their own performance; they uplift the entire organization.
How clear are you about your expectations?
If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Almost 50% of employees across different sectors lack role clarity. With start-ups, the problem stems from a fluid environment where everybody has to do everything. However, For larger organizations, it’s due to poor communication.
We’re talking about goals, priorities and boundaries.
Your Employees need to understand not just how they fit into the puzzle but how the other pieces fit in, too, and how the whole thing comes together.
There is a freedom and passion that comes with clarity.
This includes you as the employer, CEO or business owner. The only thing you should be focusing on is making the best decisions for your business. Remove all the other noise from your head – you’d be amazed at how many different tasks there are that you can get someone else to do for you.
Seriously – here’s 84 examples!
Are you ready to find out what it means to run a business that is so effective that you can pursue bigger and better goals? It’s possible. Schedule a 30-minute complimentary sessiontoday and find out exactly how you’re going to do it.
QUESTION: What inefficiencies have you found in your business that have allowed you to pursue bigger and better things? Share with us in the comments below!
Katrina McKinnon is a leading online innovator with over 20 years’ experience building and operating high performing businesses. In a market hungry for skilled online professionals, Small Revolution powered by Katrina McKinnon’s proven insights, is the fastest, most effective way to get the expertise to tap into this growing opportunity.
Running your own business is hard. Running your business all alone is even harder. 😩
There’s so much advice out there it’s hard to know what to do and what to focus on first. You’re worried about following the wrong advice, or just as bad …. The right advice at the wrong time.
You can commit to working harder …. But, what if you’re working hard on the wrong things? You’ll easily waste months and even years spinning your wheels. 😭
Your friends and family don’t know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. They don’t understand the challenges you face running your own business or how to solve the problems that keep you up at night.
Right now, you have no one to talk to who can give you meaningful support and actionable advice.
📍You need to FIND YOUR PEOPLE.
Take the first step … right here … right now.
✅ WHAT IS ONE DECISION YOU NEED TO MAKE IN YOUR BUSINESS RIGHT NOW?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. By sharing a decision you’ve been delaying to make or a challenge that’s got you stuck … not only could you receive some 💡great ideas 💡 to help you … you’re also helping so many others who are facing the same challenge in their business.
You need a quality team behind you if you want to find success in this day and age. There’s no such thing as a one-man show. If your team of small business employees isn’t doing what you want to them to do, it’s easy to get frustrated. Small business is big business. Small businesses with less than 100 workers account for over 98% of all small businesses, and that means your team matters more than ever.
When your team doesn’t do what you want, you don’t have a team problem. As much as it hurts to admit, you likely have a leadership problem. Before you blame yourself, take some time to reassess the situation. Learning how to be a great leader is all part of mastering how to start a business. All hope is not lost. There are many things you can do to get your small business team back on track for success.
1. Hire the Right Employees
If you’re noticing a trend in dissatisfaction amongst your current employees, you might not be hiring the right people to begin with. It’s worth being choosy with your team members in this era. When you hire the wrong people for the job, they don’t enjoy the work they do, and you won’t be impressed with their results.
Remember that the most experienced employee might not be the best fit. You’ll need to weigh things like company culture, expectations, and experience level when making a decision about who to hire. In addition, make sure you’re presenting your company and the role accurately. The internet job platforms are full of poorly described positions which will only lead to more confusion.
2. Improve Employee Happiness
How are your employees responding to their daily work environment? Is it full of stress, confusion, and dissatisfaction? If so, you need to reevaluate employee happiness. While nobody should expect to have a fun, exciting day at work (at least, not all of the time), that doesn’t mean it can’t be a satisfying, stress-free place to be.
There are new ways to improve employee happiness that don’t cost you a thing. The first is simply delegating work effectively. When employees feel they’re reasonably able to handle their daily tasks, they perform better. We’ve all dealt with the stress of not being able to meet deadlines and requirements.
Finally, one reason your team might not be doing what you want them to do is because they’re spending too much time on inefficient tasks. So many of our workplace practices today can be automated thanks to new technology. Yet, so many small businesses, in particular, are still holding onto the older ways of doing things. The older way tends to take longer, be inefficient, and wastes valuable time.
Your employees likely know more about these inefficient tasks than you, and they should be your first line of defense for solving these problems. Your employees time is valuable. How much of it is going to waste doing things that could be automated or skipped altogether?
Conduct regular team meetings to discover if there are any areas you could invest in automation, artificial intelligence, or modern solutions. The cost of implementing these programs likely will be more than worth it in the long run.
Your business needs strong leadership that pays attention to your employee’s mindset and feelings. These tips above help you put your small business team first so you can get more done together. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-do stress of being a small business leader, so taking the time to notice where your employees need support is key.
Even just taking the initial steps to bridge these gaps in communication will go a long way to repairing employee morale. Your employees want to do their best. Make sure they’re in a position for finding the most success.
QUESTION: What is 1 key aha you’ve had from thinking through these 4 tips? Share your comments and questions below.
Are you struggling to motivate your team, especially during the summer months?
Sometimes as a business owner with employees you can feel more like a babysitter. The good news is … it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s lots of great team motivation ideas you can try this summer to transform your high maintenance employees into high performing teams.
You just need a few great ideas to implement. In fact, I want to open your mind on how you can do that even while you are away on your own summer vacation.
Studies have shown that your biggest “a-ha” moments often occur when you put yourself in a different environment – – away from the daily grind of working in your business. That’s why it’s so important to take a vacation to rest your brain (even if for just a day or two)…
So, while you’re taking a much needed respite away FROM your business… but there’s one ingredient I want to offer you that can help you achieve much needed breakthroughs FOR your business… even WHILE you’re away on vacation this summer.
But if you want a breakthrough you need to percolate your brain with new questions from a fresh outside perspective. That’s why I’m inviting you to a free weekly 30-Minute Laser Coaching Clinic– that kicks off on August 7th.
It’s called TEAM TALK TUESDAYS at TWELVE
This is a limited time offer. So, hurry and check it out.
I’m dedicating 4 Tuesdays — Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28 to help you build your dream team (my summer gift to you!) SIGN UP HERE Whether you have 1 or 20+ employees on your team this is your opportunity to discuss your biggest team challenge right now. We’ve received lots of great questions already like:
How can I motivate my employees?
How can I build sales accountability for my team without having to use complicated CRM systems?
How can I train my estimators from being order takers to generating their own leads?
How can I unload more work off my plate without it boomeranging right back to me?
When is the right time to bring on a new hire?
Where can I find the best admin hires who I don’t have to spend a lot of time training?
And more …
Listen to Last Week’s Team Talk Tuesday Call Here:
Here’s a replay of Team Talk Tuesday Call #3
When you sign up I’ll send you the link to my private conference line. This means you can join the call from your computer or call in from your phone.
During the 30-minute coaching clinic you’ll get a chance to get some laser coaching on your specific challenge when it comes to developing high performing teams. And … even better … you’ll get both myself and business broker Paul Visokey of Stony Hill Advisors.
I’m offering this for free, for a limited time only … so if you’re hungry for a breakthrough in your business … this is a no-brainer baby step towards building your team and blowing up your business!
Yoon ~ PS. Friends don’t let friends struggle alone. Know a business owner who is wearing too many hats? …. Forward them this blog article and invite them to join us for TEAM TALK TUESDAYS at TWELVE (12 noon EST)
In a previous post I shared my one line response to a popular question I am often asked — “What’s your advice on achieving fastbusiness growth?”
“Never try to do it alone” is always my response.
If you enjoyed reading about the 3 powerful leadership principles that helped operations manager Beth to bring out the best in her people, here are 3 more powerful leadership principles from my coachingwork with Bob.
KEY CHALLENGE: Sales Growth Stuck at 7M
One of my clients (we’ll call him Bob) is a CEO of a family run technology company focused on growing his 7 Million company into a 10 Million company. For several years he keeps plateauing at the same level.
When asked what he attributed may be the primary cause he pointed to the pattern that he continues to be the primary problem solver instead of his people being able to make swift executive decisions in their day to day work.
Observation: In visiting Bob’s company I noticed his office (and everyone else’s offices) were in an open floor plan. Bob wanted the open floor plan to let his people know he was never too high up that he was perceived as far too removed or inaccessible. He also liked the ease and convenience of being able to monitor people on the floor.
But, because of the open floor plan and Bob’s open door policy, he was bombarded with constant daily interruptions and thereby, pulled into every problem that occurred. His people can see him there, so the easiest thing for his managers to do is go straight to Bob to help them resolve their problems and/or help them make decisions quickly.
Bob’s 3 Leadership Principles That Transformed Positive Change:
A. Effective leaders must create boundaries.
B. Don’t ever forget you’re in the PEOPLE business.
C. Commit to helping your people S.O.A.R.
Actions Bob implemented:
1. Creating boundaries:
We eliminated a whopping 70% of his interruptions by Bob communicating changes to his accessibility. This might sound overly simple, but it just goes to prove how easy it is for business owners to fall into patterns of behavior when you have no one else to report to.
So, Bob posted a few weekly time slots where he could still have his open door policy, but outside of those hours each of his key people were given scheduled meeting appointments instead of the old way of allowing them to approach Bob whenever they wanted.
For the first time, Bob even started posting a “do not disturb” sign on his door (and stuck to it) which allowed him to make huge strides in working “on” his business
2. Reframing what business you’re in. Bob’s technology business took off because his knowledge, expertise and passion was in technology. But, as Marshall Goldsmith famously wrote, “what got you here, won’t get you there”.
During our coaching sessions Bob admitted he really didn’t enjoy managing people. That just wasn’t his area of expertise. But, it was his area of greatest frustration. Because he didn’t like having to manage people, he avoided holding any regular meetings with this team whenever possible.
After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of:
A. Hiring a General Manager to manage everyone for him
B. Creating more effective approaches for Bob to manage his key people or …
C. Keep doing things the same way …
Bob chose option B and began to reframe what business he was really in. And, after some practice, Bob even came to embrace it. One of the tools that helped Bob be more effective and enjoy managing people was holding weekly one on one meetings with his key staff using my simple S.O.A.R. meeting template.
3. Holding weekly 1-1 meetings to help your people S.O.A.R.
In the past, Bob tried to schedule bi-weekly meetings with his team members, but they often got postponed, cancelled and eventually avoided all together. When I asked why Bob vented he felt like he was just babysitting his employees. We discovered there was no set structure to his meetings outside of being a low level Q&A session.
I encouraged Bob to start using my simple S.O.A.R. meeting template and to commit to it for 12 weeks (12 meetings). Only 3 weeks into the challenge it didn’t surprise me how excited Bob was at seeing positive changes in his people’s performance already.
Here is the S.O.A.R. 1-1 meeting template: S = What is your SINGLE motivating purpose that is driving you this week?
O = What OBSTACLES do you need to overcome this week (month, quarter) and how do you plan on overcoming them?
A = How do you want to be held ACCOUNTABLE for key actions you will take full ownership of?
R = Recognition – What are the greatest wins you’re most proud of this week?
1. Bob’s interruptions decreased dramatically allowing him to be able to focus on CEO level tasks that were sorely needed to drive the company’s revenue growth.
2. Now that Bob embraced being in the ‘people business’ he saw his team getting faster and better at completing client projects, allowing them to handle more sales.
3. The S.O.A.R. meetings Bob instituted developed his people’s critical thinking muscles. They were able to handle higher-level tasks and decisions on their own and needed Bob’s guidance less. As a bonus, his people now use the same process to train their direct reports on developing their own critical thinking skills.
Who are the people who interrupt you the most?
What kind of boundaries do you need to create?
How effective are your 1-1 meetings with your key people?
Here’s to your success!
QUESTION: What is 1 paradigm shift that made a powerful difference in bringing out the best in your people? … Share your comments and questions below.
*This article was originally published here: http://paramountbusinesscoach.com/driving-business-through-strong-leadership/