Friday, 26 November 2010

Return on Effort

If you are in business, you know all about Return on Investment (ROI) - perhaps not in 'accounting' terms, but you know that every investment you make, every penny you spend has to pay you back within a defined timescale.
Yet, I bet there are things going on inside your company that are dragging you down, slowing that financial return.  I can't tell you what they are (without coming around and observing what goes on) ... but I'm sure they are there all the same.
Sometimes we forget that business is essentially simple ... find out what your customers value and do more of it ... find out what they don't value and do less of it.  But all sorts of things tend to get in the way ... especsailly as a business starts to grow ... and we spend more time organising rather than doing - a necessary but sometimes ineffective evil ... if we have not been trianed  - or not trained ourselves - to organise.
One simple pproach to addressing this is to think through what you - and your staff - actually DO in a day .. and think about the Return on Effort relating to each activity. Why do we do that? In what way does it -directy or indirectly - provide value to our customers. If you can't answer the question, stop doing it!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Do you know where the time goes?

Do you know how your staff spend their time - which tasks and activities consume most of it? If not, try collecting this data for a week. Get the staff to record for themselves each half hour what they are doing and use this as a guide to how they spend their time. Then ask the questions: "Is this how I want them to spend their time?" "How much of what they do adds value?"

You then have the ammunition you need to start making informed changes.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

What did i do today?

What did I do today to add EXTRA value to my business?
I am sure that you work hard every day.  if you are an entreptreneur and/or small business owner, that is undoubtedly true. But sometimes, hard work is not enough.  Sometimes we work so hard we forget to think about what it is we are doing ... and more importantly, what we shjould be doing tomorrow.
Think about what you have done today ... and how it will change the business going forward. If there is nothing can think of that is significant, ask yourself if this is simply because you have been too busy on operational activity. If it is, you need to find some way of passing these operational chores on to someone else, while you do the really important job of planning ansd shaping the future.  No-one else will do that!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Look like you mean it

Do you have an office visible to your workforce?  If so, it sends out signals about you and your attitude to 'organisation'.  If your office is (continually) cluttered and untidy, you are saying (subconsciously) that you don't care about organisation, effectiveness, discipline and order.
Is this what you want to say?