Sunday, August 27, 2006

Week 2 - Where are you spending your time?

Until you go to work on reinventing your business, you are unlikely to get a sense what your business could be in the future.

This is a tricky area, after all, you are already stressed out of your head, how can you possibly spend more time contemplating expansion let alone making sure your employees are feeling loved?

But here is the thing, you have to get started and only then will you begin to see how these techniques will impact your business. The critical point is that you need to establish the best use of your own time. Rolling up your sleeves and serving your clients keeps the business on track short term but doesn’t really help you long term. It is this day to day work that is all consuming. It blocks any sense of vision of what could be. Write out everything you did today and then highlight the items according to the following three categories:

RED – all back office tasks such as filing, administration, chasing debts, office related duties etc.

ORANGE – the time you spend doing what you do – in other words, the carpenter building things, or the attorney working on client cases.

GREEN – the time you spend working on your business (where it is going and how you are going to get there).

I won’t complicate this; let’s just say if you are spending all of your time chasing outstanding debts or making the widgets, who is looking after the long term health of your business? You, the owner, need to be spending most of your time doing GREEN activities. This is certainly not an original concept but it is critical I reinforce this point early; if you don’t buy in, you won’t listen to anything else I have to say. You will get stuck in the “I don’t have time” whirlpool…

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Random Quote

There are three kinds of companies: those that make things happen; those that watch things happen; and those who wonder what’s happened. – Anonymous

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Week 1 - What do you want for your business?

It is easy and hard at the same time. Build up the number of customers your business serves through innovative marketing and attention to detail. Then just put in place systems which ensure that your initial successes become lasting. Net result: Choices, through a business which serves you rather than the other way around.

Regardless of how you arrived in your corner of the world, I need you to stop and ask three questions:

1. What business am I really in? Your product or service is not your business and if you believe it is, we have to change that.

2. What do you I want for my business? Are you operating in a way which simply brings in enough cash to allow you to get up and do it again next week?

3. Depending on your answer above, do I even want to be in this business?

CHOICE is one thing many business owners lack. You have to turn up everyday; you have to fix mistakes your employees made; only you can serve customers because nobody else understands them like you do. Sound familiar? If you could break out of this pattern, what might you like to do with your business assuming for a moment that anything is possible?

Do you want to spend less time in your business and more with your family?

Do you want to expand your business to increase your income, but don’t have the energy or drive?

Do you want to just sell your business for a respectable sum of money?

Achieving any of these objectives is often over complicated. We think of business plans and finance and cash flow – all of which are obviously important. But far more important initially is willingness to pursue your objective and a broad understanding of how it is all going to unfold. Whatever your end goal, you need more customers through the door and you need to operate in a systematic way – in other words, you not only need to be good, you need to be consistently good. Whether you take more time out, expand or sell out completely, you need to get things humming without you even being present.