“Necessity is the mother of invention.” Too often we decide to actually stand up and DO something about our unsustainable situation when we reach crisis. Our business has been built like a house of cards, and on one hellish day, it all comes tumbling down.
If you’re at that point of breakdown, drowning in admin and To Do lists that never get shorter, I am excited for you. The moment of break down ushers in the moment of breakthrough. If you think you’re not quite at that catastrophic point, but your days are too long and filled with stressful pressure, you are in a great spot too, because you can catch your situation before it catches you. No matter where you are in your business, pop your head up out of your bunker for just a brief moment to evaluate. Is your work sustainable? Is it effective? Is it getting you where you need to go?
There is a way to create new outcomes, and it starts with making the decision to start. It won’t be easy at first. As much as I wish it could change instantly for you, the truth is, it’s taken you years to get where you are now, so it might take a while to get you out of the forest into wide open spaces. By following these five steps you will not only reduce the overload and increase your productivity, but you will develop an entirely new set of management skills which transform your business by transforming you.
We start the reinvention of our business operations by documenting the tasks that we do, or those done by our team. This step cannot be completed in a fast morning burst. It’s best done over a few weeks as you go. You will never be able to remember everything that is actually done in your workplace. Your routines are likely sporadic and fluctuate with the urgency of unexpected demands. Invest the time to turn the chaos into some sort of organised list of tasks. This workflow is about to get a makeover.
Having all the jobs roughly documented will give you perspective to start creating a more stable, predictable, and productive routine. It will also allow you to see ways to improve your current performance by removing unnecessary tasks, and adding tasks that maximise what you are already doing. Start grouping similar tasks together to minimise the amount of transitions in your work days and create daily checklists so that you move through your work more efficiently.
WIth your task lists organised and systemised it’s time to delegate repetitive tasks that could be done by someone else. You’ll experience the first FEELINGS of your business breakthrough after you have written a step by step set of instructions for your new helper and handed the job over. These instructions should be foolproof. Provide URLs, logins, a task overview statement, numbered instructions and screenshots for confirmation. You’ll get the biggest breakthroughs delegating tasks like answering your phone, emails, social media posting, scheduling, client liaison, stock control, catering, event set up and follow up, and cleaning.
Now you should see your thumb doesn’t need to be in every single business pie. Automating other aspects of your work will really shake things up and boost your productivity. There are websites, software programs and apps for just about everything you manage in your business. Investing first into research, then into purchases and subscriptions is the fastest way to sustainable growth. Ask around your networks and spend some quality time with Google to find electronic solutions to your unique workflow problems.
Your business is well on the way to breakthrough now. We’ve organised the labour intensive jobs that were consuming your time. Now they are well organised routines delegated to others in your team, and automated with electronic tools. At this point you are still managing all of this work. While it’s certainly flowing faster, you’ll obtain the most benefit in this business breakthrough by outsourcing entire chunks of your operations altogether. Find companies who offer specialised services in content creation or administration, data management, accounting, order fulfilment, stock management, staffing and recruitment, cleaning and site maintenance, catering and event management, email automation, graphic design, audio engineering, copywriting. The list is endless, so the opportunities for your business growth are infinite.