Saturday, 30 June 2012

What is it supposed to do?

I was reading the reviews for an iPad app before I decided whether or not to buy it. I noticed that 'good' and 'bad' reviews depended on whether the app did what the user wanted - not whether it did what it claimed to do.

 I thought that this is quite a good test for customer comments and complaints ... is the customer complaining because we offered or something that was not delivered (in which case we do something ... and quickly) ... or is the customer complaining over a feature or attribute we never claimed to offer (in which case we are polite but not accommodating).

 Is this a reasonable test?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Become a small business

What's the best way to become a $1 million turnover business/

Take your $2 million turnover business and forget what made you good!

It is easy to think "I've made it", "I'm a success" and rest on your laurels.

But your competitors aren't resting. So, keep thinking like a start-up, keep innovating, keep working hard, keep hiring good people, keep our-running the other guys ... these are the things that made you good.

These are the things that can keep you at the top.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Talk to me

email is a useful tool.

As we all know, however, it can be a tough taskmaster. The way in which people use email means that we often get messages we don't really need to get. (People copy us in simply because they can!)

If you get back from a vacation and have lots of emails waiting, try putting them in a folder and just leaving them ... until you get a reminder (which you will if its important). It will tell you how many of your emails are 'essential'.

However, the other downside of email is that it stops people talking. email is clearly an asynchronous medium. You email me. I reply. You reply. And so on till we get fed up ... or resolve the issue. It can take days to complete what could be done in minutes on the phone.

So perhaps you should start a 'use the phone' or a 'talk more' campaign.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

One Thing At A Time

This blog is called 'do not complicate'.  Yet complicating is something we seem to do all the time.

How often do you multitask.  Quite a lot of the time, I bet ... and I also bet it makes you feel good.  Working on 2 or 3 things at once can make us feel 'alive'.

Unfortunately this sense of 'pride' isn't always reflected in measured performance.  Multitasking often means we end up doing 2 or 3 tasks in a distracted, unfocused way.

So for one day at least set yourself the goal of always working on one thing at one and completing it before moving to the next task.  At the end of the day reflect on your performance - and outcomes.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Knowing what you don't know

When we start a small business we have to turn our hand to all sorts of tasks.  We can be manufacturing supervisors, accountants (or bookkeepers at least), personnel officers, coaches, trainers, delivery drivers, etc.

Of course we will do some of these well ... and some less well.  Some we will do less well because we are ignorant of the issues involved in that area of 'professionalism'.

Ignorance is dangerous ... but even more dangerous is ignorance of our ignorance. It is important to know what you don't know so that you can fill in the gaps in knowledge or skill.

Those who assume they know (or don't even think about it) will continue to make mistakes and bad judgements.

Don't let it be you.  Think about what you might not know ... and do something about it.