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Common inefficiencies stem from a lack of communication, getting stuck in outdated procedures and a constant search for something new (the shiny object syndrome).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 or maintaining a business that supports remote workers comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. But creating a collaborative environment that fosters relationships and good workflow, even if it’s digital, can be complex. However, with the growing development of applications and software to support remote workers, it’s easier than ever to keep your workforce happy and productive.
Keeping track of time is an important aspect of
any job, but it serves a few different purposes when workers are remote. While
in an office, it’s easy to remind yourself to take breaks by chatting with
coworkers or going with your office mates to grab some lunch. However, while working from a home office,
work can begin to take over and even run into personal time. It may seem
counterintuitive, but taking breaks can increase productivity, creating a
mental environment where the mind is free to focus on the task at hand. It’s
also well known in 2019 that overworked employees are more susceptible to
work-related stress and eventually job burnout.
So utilizing a time management software like Toggl can serve multiple purposes that all serve the overall productivity of your company. It allows for more accurate time-tracking which means project management timelines can improve with post-mortem data analysis.
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a remote workforce is communication. With workers spread around the country or even the world, you won’t be able to schedule a quick, last-minute meeting to discuss the result of a client call or pop into a conference room to check how things are going.
That is to say, active communication between management and employees is key. Additionally, fostering communication between employees is beneficial as well. Employees that maintain working relationships with their coworkers feel less stressed at work and have a more positive outlook on their work life overall.
Fortunately, in this digital era, keeping employees connected can be done with a simple internet connection.
Useful connection apps:
Therefore, no matter where your workforce is stationed, the internet can be used to connect apps. Voice over Internet Protocol, more commonly referred to as VoIP, allows employees to send and receive phone calls from their computer. Not only does this reduce the equipment necessary to keep employees connected, it means there are no limitations as to how communication can be executed. Remote employees will have access to all of the same communication tools used in-house allowing for a more active communication process between teams.
This comes as no surprise, but a large part of working together is collaboratively working together; collaborating on documents and giving constructive feedback to improve future performance. In the digital age, hard copies of documents are hard to come by, but making edits and providing insights are large parts of a productive work environment.
To clarify, employees should be able to see revision history or the suggestions made by their co-workers or managers on their documents, allowing them to make adjustments accordingly.
Applications like Dropbox
allow users to maintain and work together on documents of various types. These
platforms store documents in the cloud, making them ideal for businesses with a
remote workforce to keep their information safe and secure and readily
available for when they are needed.
In conclusion, as the world moves forward, more companies are realizing that the talent they need may not be in the area that they’re located. Allowing employees to work remotely may be in their interest to ensure the best product for their customers or clients. Remote work comes with its own challenges, but it has been reported that employees often feel happier, more productive, and more valued when they’re allowed the freedom and flexibility to work remotely.
To sum up, providing your remote workers with the tools necessary for their success will tangentially improve the quality of work you receive, making it a worthwhile endeavor.
In my last blog post, I shared what to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed in your business.
If you missed it you can catch up on that step by step ‘focus freeing strategy’ here. If you find yourself feeling stretched, stressed and overwhelmed from so much to learn when it comes to marketing and growing your business, I wanted to encourage you that …
You’re not alone.
I’ve been a business owner for over 25 years now and I still have seasons when I get that feeling too. And hundreds of other successful people do too. In fact, I recently spoke to a CEO who signed up for my complimentary discovery coaching call. This guy is a seasoned entrepreneur. He has grown his business to 14 locations and he’s even authored 6 best selling books, so you might be surprised to know why he reached out to me. I asked him … “what is the #1 outcome goal you would like me to help you achieve?”
His reply: “I’m feeling so overwhelmed with all of our new initiatives. I need a coach to help me make the best decisions in how I will manage it all.”
Yes, it just goes to show you that even “successful” people aren’t immune to feeling overwhelmed either. So, if you too have been feeling the weight of overwhelm, my encouragement for you today is this:
#1. Accept it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed in your business. #2. Know that you’re not alone. #3. Don’t try to battle through it alone. Reach out for help and support.
Whether you find a peer group of entrepreneurs for support or you looks for a professional coach, having a consistent person to hold you accountable can help you break out of your cycle of struggle faster. And …
#4. Identify what your 80:20 is in your business and then focus on it.
Simplify your to-do list down to what critical few things you do that make the biggest difference to your success. Often times, doing this step requires the help of having a coach and/or accountability group to challenge you. It’s a lot like watching the reality show on hoarders. If you have a hoarding problem it’s because it’s incredibly difficult for you to let go of things. You never see a hoarder be able to clear out their home all by themselves. As a business owner, we too can fall into a similar challenge of not being able to let go of certain tasks you feel has to get done by you … or even done at all. So, if you feel alone trying to manage the overwhelm in your business ….
What is keeping you from engaging a peer group, coach or
friend to give you the help and support you need?
Share your comment below. I’d really love to know. I’m in your corner, Yoon ~
There are many roadblocks and obstacles that stand between you and success. Running a business isn’t easy, but one thing that is for certain is that defeating your demons and overcoming those gremlins that stand in your way can be the hardest part of growing a business.
As entrepreneurs we expect to write out our business growth plan to include things like our marketing strategy, our customer service strategy, our cash flow strategy and our organizational development strategy. These are all important pieces to have in our business growth plans. However, in 100% of all the strategic plans I review from small business owners to CEO’s of mid-size companies, there is a chapter missing that in my opinion, is mission critical to have in place. That is — how do you plan on winning the battle of your mind? (more…)
Does your business feel like a roller coaster ride where sales are either at an exciting high or they’re at a panic level low? This pendulum is stressful on your cash flow. It’s also highly stressful on your mindset.
So, what can you do to build a customer pipeline so you can have a steady flow of new clients instead of living through spikes of feast or famine? Building a strong customer pipeline doesn’t have to be something all that complicated. It can be as simple as segmenting your interest groups from your customer groups. Then from there mapping out a sequence of offers to both groups that will entice them and invite them to move from no risk, to low risk offers.
Here are my 7 key stages to building a strong customer pipeline that you can implement right away into your business today: (more…)