Have you ever noticed that you’re stuck on an endless cycle of inventing and reinventing the wheel? Do you get tired of starting over from square one Every. Single. Day?
To get your business humming along without your constant supervision of every detail, follow these three words of advice: STOP OVERTHINKING IT.
Ok, ok… it may not be quite that simple. But if you often find yourself rocking in a corner, repeating “How do I make my business more efficient and productive?”, here are three simple steps to get you on your way:
Use whatever software you like, or go completely analog with sticky notes or a whiteboard, but start writing down everything you and anyone else in your company does. Get really detailed and break down every step.
If the concept of writing every last detail of your daily life down on a sticky note is overwhelming, don’t sweat it. This doesn’t have to take more of your time (I’ll save you the “slow down to speed up” diatribes) — you can document as you go without missing a beat. Let Loom run in the background while you work, and send the video to a VA to document your every move. Tada! All the details, zero extra time.
Put all your documentation into a step-by-step list of who does what and when (for the visual folks, it may be helpful to “flow chart” it all first). Have everyone review the list to make sure it says what they meant and means what they said; and then follow that list to a T. The next time the process is triggered, follow it like it was Grandma’s special cookie recipe and you’ve never baked a day in your life.
A word of caution for you perfectionists out there: done is better than perfect. If you’re doing it right, you won’t start with a super dialed-in process. Just like Grandma’s cookies, these things improve over time. Which brings me to my third and final point…
As you follow your newly documented processes, time yourself and see if you can improve your speed without losing accuracy. Is there anything in the process that would improve with a little tweak? What parts of the process are redundant? Are there any parts of the process that are missing? Is there something you can do that may add a little time but exponentially improve the outcome? Which steps of the process are taking the longest? Are there any opportunities to automate a set of tasks?
Before you know it, you’ll have a dialed-in process so clear a temp could come in tomorrow and take over all the tactical parts of your job, leaving you to contemplate the finer points of your business strategy in a hammock on the beach.
You’ll be amazed at how much more efficient your team can be by taking the guesswork out of what they need to be doing. And you can finally get past reinventing the wheel in your business, so that you can move on to more pressing matters. 🍹🏖
Shanda Packard, the Director of Operations at Brand Central Marketing, lives by the belief that in structure there is freedom. Her 25+ years of experience in corporate logistics, forecasting, sales, and marketing combine hard-learned best practices in systems and processes with her innate love of analytics. Her latter years in the corporate world combined these skills in brand management and business development, as she led the sales and marketing efforts for Fortune 500 companies in the consumer apparel industry. A Google Sheets Ninja, Shanda’s superpower is reading the analytical tea leaves to guide business strategy. When she’s not frolicking in spreadsheets, she’s probably practicing yoga, globe-trotting, or drinking Italian hot chocolate (and on a good day, all of the above).