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176 - Are You Always Putting Out Fires?

This article is based on critical questions I’m often asked by clients, who are smart and savvy women entrepreneurs ready for change.

From improving cash flow…. to increasing staff productivity…. to scaling for growth, these periods of transition — and so many more — provide both challenges and opportunities. Managed effectively, change can become a productive force for growth.

The Block Group harnesses that potential, bringing together the people, resources and ideas that build results.

Patty-W-Block-Small-2All the best! 

Patty Block

©The Block Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Building Solid Companies That Move Forward


Why Do I Struggle with Productivity?
Why-Do-I-Struggle-with-Productivity

Esther Dyson, well-known entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, believes “From the business point of view - not to overstate it - intellectual property is dead; long live intellectual process. Long live service; long live performance.”

Building a solid company that moves forward requires a strong foundation. When you have an effective system for accountability of your intellectual process, it puts your business on solid footing and positions it for strategic growth.

Ultimately, every business owner who wants to scale for growth must invest in building communication systems, infrastructure, business processes and training programs that foster expansion as efficiently as possible.

Many small business owners struggle to control their own time and energy, while keeping their staff productive. If you feel as though you are always putting out fires instead of moving your company forward, you probably have a productivity issue.

How Do I Know?
What-Happens-Next

These early warning signs are among the most common concerns we hear from women business owners we work with. How many of these resonate with you?

  • Do you struggle to train your staff?
  • Do you lose employees because they are frustrated with the lack of structure?
  • Is there a disconnect between hiring a new employee, training them, and what they actually deliver?
  • Do you struggle to standardize business processes so you have consistent results?
  • Are your employees as productive as they could be?
  • Are you embarrassed every time you have to deal with an unhappy client?
  • Do you suffer so much stress around putting out fires that you can’t focus on strategic issues – for your company or for your clients?

What Happens Next?
1What-Happens-Next

Ignoring these early warning signs leads to serious consequences. How many of these are you already suffering from?

  • Is your revenue unsteady because you can’t focus on business development?
  • Are your relationships with clients and employees suffering?
  • Are you having trouble attracting or retaining high-quality staff?
  • Do you have unprofitable client accounts?
  • Is your company growth stunted?
  • Is your company reputation suffering?
  • Is your emotional stress level over the top?

How Do I Fix This?
How-Do-I-Fix-This

I believe that being productive is more than being organized and efficient: it is a state of mind. ‘Time management’ is a misnomer to me. My productivity isn’t tied to the amount of time I spend on something; it is tied to the outcome.

Keep in mind the bigger picture and consider the benefits of an electronic Operations Manual:

  1. Analyze and improve business processes, ensuring standardization and replication
  2. Provide a dynamic structure that is easy to implement and communicate to staff 
  3. Promote information-sharing among staff to improve operations and customer service
  4. Train existing staff with a common language and clear expectations
  5. Increase efficiency when training new employees
  6. Develop an effective system for accountability in operations
  7. Improve customer service and satisfaction
  8. Build value in your company

While this may feel overwhelming, by working with a trusted advisor who has a proven track record of success in developing dynamic Operations Manuals, it takes the burden from you and your team.

One of our specialties is producing Operations Manuals that do just that. We identify, develop and document business processes, ensuring standardization and replication. Then we train your staff how to use the Manual effectively, so everyone is speaking the same language and understands expectations.

Can You Give Me An Example?
Can-Yo--Give-Me-An-Example

Take the case of 2 business partners who employed a team of 15. When we evaluated their staff workload, we found a major disconnect, leading to lower billings.
While they were using a good tracking method, the work delivery had not been standardized, documented, and taught to the staff.

Employees were stressed and the owners were frustrated. It was clear that they needed a plan to increase productivity, which actually took stress off the employees.

By setting expectations, developing checklists to standardize training, developing an Operations Manual, empowering employees and adding accountability, we increased productivity, built team spirit, increased billings and reduced stress!

Now What?

Operations-Manual

Esther Dyson rightfully points out that service and performance are critical for a growing business in the 21st Century.

‘Busy’ does not equal ‘productive’, so if you are always putting out fires, and focusing on tasks instead of strategy, your business will stagnate.

With an Operations Manual, all aspects of your business will benefit from increased efficiency, including onboarding and training employees, work-flow, use of technology, sales, service delivery, and customer service.

Ensure your intellectual processes are accessible to your team by investing in an Operations Manual.

Business Coach in Houston

Patty-W-Block-Small-2

All the best! 

Patty Block

©The Block Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Building Solid Companies That Move Forward

Building Blocks