We all know how we do what we do, don’t we?
Or perhaps we wouldn’t be doing it.
The question is…
How does everything get done when we’re not there?
Does anyone in your team know how to do what you do?
Do they even really understand what it is that you do do?
They could - if you document what you do.
It’s a curiously liberating thing to do. Writing a step by step description of any task in a way that would enable someone else to do attempt the same thing.
In an odd way, you would show yourself just how good you are, and make a note of all the skills that are required to do what it is you do.
It’s said that running a small business requires you to be a generalist rather than a specialist, but doesn’t being a generalist require a multiplicity of specialist skills and procedures?
Write them down!
Simply making a list of the daily tasks that you carry out would be a great way to start. Doing this will help you to delegate parts of that list.
There’s a bonus…
Writing out procedures in this way often allows us to see how we could improve how we do what we do! - especially if you’ve been doing things in the same way for years.
So time invested in this simple process could have two benefits; Increased delegation, and improving your own ways of doing things.
Contemplating a rebrand? - Some things to ponder…
The new brand should advance customer perception of your business in line with the businesses next stage of development.
Identify core business offering and efficiency areas
What are the most profitable or successful aspect of your business? Is there a product or service that takes up a disproportionate amount of your time? Can you use the rebranding (and possible repositioning) of your business to improve this?
Plan any repositioning of the business
What direction do you want to take the business in? Is there a service that you don’t offer, that could be making you money? Could rebranding be used to also launch additional services such as web design or cross-media? Would you have the expertise for this in-house, or could part of the new service be sub contracted until you do? From a marketing point of view, launch any new service two to three months after the rebrand would make sense (it could be pre-announced in the the rebrand).
List admin tasks
Inform suppliers, banks, telecoms, insurers etc.
Include all employees in the plan
Vital. Particularly important that all your team ‘buy in’ to your plan. Include the whole team in discussions. Give ownership of certain aspects to individuals or groups of your staff. Keep them informed.
List Marketing tasks/make a plan
Plan and budget for the re-launch. Plan post launch continuity. Making a splash with a re-launch is relatively easy. Continuing to build awareness of your new brand locally is an entirely different matter. Three months after the launch (when it’s old news) you need to continually find innovative ways of bringing your business to peoples attention - on a regular basis.
Design new logo
Not as easy as it sounds - The new logo will be something you should not change for at least three years. Is it a good idea for it to be reminiscent of the old one? - Or is a complete break desirable? There quite a few design tricks that can be used - I know of one company that changed it’s logo from a stylised ‘E’ to an ‘M’, simply by rotating it!
Assess signage requirements
Premises: It’s easy to overspend on signage. Carefully consider the benefits depending on location etc.
Vehicles: If you have a van I think the options here are either a plain van or a vehicle wrap, depending on whether you deliver on behalf of customers. If you don’t have a van don’t bother. Sign written cars just look tacky!
Sometimes a minimal approach can be just as effective as an extravaganza!
Plan web presence
Link your web activities. Plan a scaleable website. Can you support a blog in the long term? Will it help your bottom line? Is yours the kind of business that would benefit from using Twitter or Facebook? If so, who would keep it up to date?
Business Momentum has already assisted several businesses with rebranding. If you have any questions about what we can do for your business, please use the contact us page. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.
In print, employees are far more likely to complain that there is not enough overtime than that they are getting too much. Many companies, though, are not compliant with legislation.
When the European Working Time Directive (which restricts working time to a maximum of 48 hours per week averaged over a 17 week period) was translated into U.K. law (The Working Time Regulations 1998), our government negotiated an opt out whereby employees could choose to voluntarily opt out of this limit and work more hours.
Even companies with opt-outs in place can have issues when inspected in business continuity or social accountability assessments; the assessor may not consider it “voluntary”:
- if the opt-out is a standard clause in a contract, or is a separate document signed at the same time as the employee starts work;
- if there is no clear mechanism for employees to change their minds and opt back into the limit; or
- if production employees always work five 12 hour shifts a week.
Best practice is for employees to be given the option to opt out only after they have completed their probationary period.
For the opt-out to be separate document that clearly states that they do not have to opt-out.
That this document states that they can opt back in at any time after giving reasonable notice (maximum 3 months).
NB it is the company’s responsibility under The Working Time Regulations to keep records to demonstrate compliance with the legislation for a period of at least three years, though in theory an employee could bring a claim against a company that they had been allowed to work excessive hours up to seven years after the event.
Thanks to Simon Edkins for this article.
Don’t you just hate those business clichés, the ones used by trainers and consultants (like me!). I can’t say I like them much. They usually sound a bit worn and hackneyed, but occasionally I hear one that makes me smile - and pause for a moment to question the intent of the metaphor, just to check that I’m not missing something.
Here’s one you’ve probably heard - maybe smiled at - and then dismissed.
Perhaps it’s worth another look? Maybe it’s more significant now than it was previously?
“You can’t fly with the eagles if you work with the turkeys!”
The eagles referred to here are talented (having talons,) flying in a direction determined by vision and intent. Making opportunities. Soaring over the competition. Taking the prize.
Turkeys always have their heads down, struggling and scrabbling for whatever comes their way, stuck in the moment of the days routine.
So what are you, high flying - or oven ready?
I’ll see you in the air then!
As anyone who delivers training courses (and follows up afterwards) will tell you, the limitation of most conventional training sessions is the human brain’s capacity to retain information. Most of the delegates at a typical one day training event will only remember a small proportion of the information imparted in the training session.
There are two solutions to this problem. One is to follow up the training remotely. The other is to re-think the training strategy and, if practical, deliver it in a series of shorter sessions. This is why, where practical, most of the training delivered by Business Momentum consists of one hour, direct, on-line sessions.
These sessions are highly cost effective because they are customised to the customers requirements and delivered over a series of weekly sessions. Prepaid, one to one sessions, delivered in this way can cost as little as £65.00 each.
I was with Bob, a business owner the other day and he asked:
"Paul, Why is it that when I suggest and idea to my staff, they don't act on it – then you or someone else tells them the same thing and they act as though it's the first time they've heard it?"
"Bob" I said. "Have you ever heard the saying that a prophet isn't recognised in their own land"
Well; it's true!
1. When the boss tells his or her people that a certain way of achieving more is brilliant – some of the people think that the boss has a hidden agenda.
2. When someone from outside the business explains the same ideas they usually come at the problem from a different perspective.
3. The person from outside the business may be (or should be) skilled at presentations.
4. People believe authority figures.
You see; part of the problem lies within the inaccuracy of the old expression which glibly states:
You have to be heard to be believed
When the reality is:
You have to be believed to be heard
So can you be more effective in communicating new ideas to your staff?
1. If the idea came from a book – give everyone a copy of it. That's what I did with a book I was so taken with about business organisation. It was called "The E-Myth Revisited" the author is Michael E. Gerber. And, I so loved the ideas that I bought all the members of my team a copy and we used some Gerber's ideas to help re-organise , and improve the efficiency of our business.
2. If the idea came from a TV or radio programme – play the programme at a team meeting.
3. If you have yearly meetings – get a professional speaker to present their (and your) ideas at that meeting.
4. Get recommendations from others who've used the ideas.
Two of the key factors in persuasion are authority and social proof. If you can use those, perhaps you can get your people to believe.