Stop doing these 4 things if you want to improve your business.
A friend of mine likes to pull pranks on her co-worker.
From squirting water guns at her cubicle, to prank phone calls, and even a fake Craigslist ad for a yard sale at her colleague’s house (don’t worry, she didn’t actually publish it)…seriously, she doesn’t have many boundaries.
Recently, my friend sent me some videos of the most recent prank she was setting up for her poor, patient, co-worker before she was returning to the office the following day from her maternity leave. The videos processed my friend pouring Jell-O powder and hot water into various objects (think Tupperware, office coffee mug, etc) and proceeding to drop random desk supplies (think pen, stapler, etc.) into said future-Jell-O holders.
I have to admit, it’s pretty funny.
I know you’re probably wondering: “OK, but what does this have to do with me and my business? I thought I came to your blog for business insights, not random people’s office pranks.” And yes, I do have a point: do you have people or programs in place (or a lack thereof) in your office acting as barriers to getting work done?
What are your office Jell-O molds?
If you went to use your stapler and it was congealed in Jell-O, it would be quite obvious there that there is a barrier between you and the object that you need to use to get work done. But these figurative “Jell-O molds” may not be as transparent. So I’m here to help you figure out what they may be.
“Good organizations want to be more profitable and successful, and in order to properly do that, you have to compare where you were to where you will be or are now.”
Below are four ways that you may be unaware are actually hindering you from achieving goals, making more money, overall office productivity and, ultimately, keeping you complacent by not aiding in business improvement.
Not Setting Goals
Sure, you may be busy in your day-to-day activities, but why be happy when you are constantly putting out fires or “saving the day” with last minute fixes instead of having a long term plan and sticking to it?
You can be busy every single day at work, but unless the work you doing is actually propelling your business forward in some way, it’s not really helping you improve at all. Spending time getting a pen out of set Jell-O may be getting something done, but what is it really accomplishing to better your business?
It is far more productive to set goals and then reach those goals, rather than get caught up in the same types of duties every day.
Are there any consistent problems arising that you keep fixing? Why not instead brainstorm a way to solve the problem and create more time to focus on more important, business-serving tasks in the future to keep setting more goals and aiming higher?
In his article “4 Reasons You Need to Set Business Goals,” Michael A. Olguin states that the following are important reasons to be setting goals within your business:
- Measure Success – Good organizations want to be more profitable and successful, and in order to properly do that, you have to compare where you were to where you will be or are now.
- Leadership Team Cohesion – Everyone needs to understand where your leadership team is coming from and what the over-arching goals of the company are so that all teams and employees are on the same page.
- Knowledge is Power – The more you know, the more you can grow. It is always better to have more information than not enough information, and setting goals ensures that you will have to do a bit more research and have more knowledge about your company.
- Reassess Goals Mid-Year – Just because you set goals doesn’t mean you are done. You need to continuously be reassessing your current goals and seeing if any need to be adjusted, as well as how you are doing in achieving the goals you set, or if you are behind and have some catching up to do.
As you can see, not setting goals is a major barrier for business improvement.
Over-Tasked Management & Employees
Getting the tools employees need to do their jobs out of their Jell-O jail takes up precious time and adds another task to the already-full pile employees have.
While it is of course a great idea to have managers and employees cross-trained and informed with as much knowledge and skills as possible, it is still vital that job duties are focused and streamlined so that no one is overloaded with too many duties, prohibiting them from focusing and completing their most important tasks.
For example, while you may have a small office that requires a call taker to also be working on spreadsheets and other internal duties, they will not have the focus or time to really dedicate to answering their phone calls and having the best conversations in order to book the appointment as someone whose sole duty is to answer in bound calls and make as many appointments as possible to turn into sales for your company.
Usually the excuse for this bad behavior is that the business does not have enough money to hire extra employees to take on these additional tasks. But if you really do the math—how much would a few extra sales per month mean for your business? If an employee focused on setting appointments could make 5 extra sales a month, which could cover an additional salary PLUS some, don’t you think that will be worth it in the long run?
But don’t just take my word for it – multitasking has been proven to be a productivity killer in other scenarios as well. With effort and focused employees and job descriptions, your business will ultimately be more successful.
Not Tracking Your Data
It doesn’t mean quite as much if you set goals and make decisions to better your company if those decisions are based solely on opinion and gut feelings rather than actual data.
If you aren’t tracking your data, then you can’t say with certainty whether or not your employees are performing effectively, if you are making good marketing decisions, or if money is being allocated in the right areas for your business.
This is how CallSource helps our clients—by tracking how successful your marketing is performing you can tell if you are getting leads into your office and also how well your employees are doing at converting those leads into sales, as well as giving data on how well your employees are performing with the goals being set and where to focus for improvement. Just like you want to know where to perform better, you also don’t want to waste your efforts in areas that you are doing well in.
No or Low Focus on Internal Improvement
Hiring qualified candidates shouldn’t be where you stop with making sure that your employees are the best. Whether someone has 10 days or 10 years’ experience in their position, there is always room for improvement. If you aren’t focused on your employees’ improvement, why will they want to invest in their own improvement as well?
Better skilled employees make for more successful businesses. This goes hand-and-hand with setting goals—if your employees have specific individual and team goals that you are setting for them, these will force them to work on bettering their own skills. Investment needs to be an endless loop—invest in your employees and their success and improvement, and they will in turn invest more into working their best for your company. If you need incentive ideas for your team, we have a few non-cash ideas we’ve previously talked about here.
Ready to start helping your business succeed? That’s what CallSource is here for! Talk to a CallSource Representative today to see how CallSource can help you.