Like it or not, your business is “run” by your employees, manager and staff. Without them, you’re left to doing everything by yourself or with your partners. Businesses function because of workers who thrive to keep the business alive.
That’s why the strategies you’re about to read, are strategies that deal with people. They are strategies for enhancing your workers’ minds, and expanding their capacity to work more efficiently. When your workers are smooth sailing, your bottom-line profits are smooth sailing (Because everyone is in the same boat, rowing towards the same goal.)
1. Fuel Up To Go
We need energy. We get energy from food and sleep. When we’re deprived of those, we suffer. This has been repeatedly documented and the detriments are plentiful. If you notice morale, productivity or a love of working in your business: talk with your staff and see if they’re eating (and sleeping) enough. Eating healthy foods high in protein and complex carbs (such as a pork roast sandwich with a glass of milk) improves decision making skills and concentration. A lack of proper sleep leads to fatigue, irritability, and a host of other well-known problems. None of which are good for you or your business.
2. Acknowledge Weaknesses
People who deny that they don’t know how to do something, often over-compensate for that by attempting to do it anyway. This is dangerous. Think about the last time you, yourself, didn’t know about an area of your business. While you were probably savvy enough to learn the basics of that area – you could have saved a lot of effort by hiring people who know more than you. (And there’s always someone who knows more than you.)
If you have employees who are forever late, miss constant deadlines, or leave early… talk to them about it. Chances are, their organisational habits are misconstrued. Or they’re oblivious to reality. In either case, talking with them about those faults gives you both a chance to tackle those challenges – and fix them.
3. Stick With “It”
You know that growth stocks are a risky business – they can either make you or break you. Any experienced broker will tell you that he/she has put in the hours and the manpower for keeping track of stocks and markets. Being this astute and savvy requires dedication. A trait a lot of us might not have. Stocks must diligently be “stalked.”
Luckily, there are online trading platforms that take care of most of the legwork. The principle remains, though: by keeping your eye on the prize like a hawk, you’re building determination. You’re building the ability to stick with a task. Train your managers, executives and employees to “think” like a stock broker. How? By showing them how to continually review your industry; what’s going on? Has anything in your business happened within the past hour? How would you know if you don’t check?
One of the biggest challenges we face, as people, is inspiration. Or waiting for inspiration. How often have you heard the phrase: “I don’t feel like working right now”? Maybe you’ve even uttered it yourself every now and then.
Waiting until we “feel” like working won’t get the job done. I personally don’t feel like writing – at all. There’s a chilly breeze outside as the bright sun shines its warmth. It’s a wonderful Fall day. Yet my butt is in this chair, in my office, writing for you. Because it’s a job that needs to be done. I am forcing myself to get the job done. This is grit.
And I developed that grit because I disciplined myself. How? By reading “Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. This sensational book breaks habits done into bite-sized principles: cue, routine, reward.
The cue is a trigger. It can be anything that makes you want to do something. The routine is the habit in action. The reward is, obviously, the result of performing that habit. In the book, Mr. Duhigg also elaborates on willpower, and pontificates over the issue of being able to develop willpower.
The answer is yes, willpower can be developed. He cites several studies that say willpower can be strengthened. (J.P. Tagney, R.F. Baumeister, and A.L. Boone, “High Self-Control Predicts Good Adjustment, Less Pathology, Better Grades, and Interpersonal Success,”) How? By making behaviour a habit; performing that behaviour/action repetitiously will eventually transform that into an automatic habit.
Once a routine is ingrained in us and becomes a habit—usually over the course of 3 weeks—we don’t rely on “waiting to feel like” doing something. Earlier I told you that I didn’t feel like writing this article. Guess what? Now I do. Because I forced myself, through grit, to write. For someone who’s been writing for 11 years, you’d think inspiration came naturally to me – it doesn’t.
Don’t underestimate the power of grit and developing willpower through strengthening exercises. (Tip: One great way to build self-discipline is to take a cold shower every day.)
5. Document Everything
Communication is key for having a productive day. Without constant communication, productivity suffers. When productivity suffers, your business suffers. Checklists cannot be underestimated. They provide a “must do” list of tasks that need to be completed. When you break down a task into manageable sub-parts, the task becomes easier for people to follow through.
Let’s use this article as an example. While creating this article for you, I broke it down into several sections. Then I made those sections into a checklist. Those sections were checked off when I finished them. For example:
- Gather information
- Write first drafts sections 1-3
- Gather more information
- Write first drafts sections 4 & 5
- Write conclusion and introduction
- Half an hour break
- Revise sections 1-3
- Revise sections 4 & 5
- Revise conclusion and introduction
- Send to editor
Creating checklists for every part of your business is good management practice. They keep you (and your employees) on track about what needs to be done, what is being worked on, and what’s finished. Thereby systematising the entire process.
One of the few ways to ensure a checklist actually works… is to have staff, executives and managers in the same loop. A tool I use to ensure everyone’s on the same page is Trello.
Trello is an interactive bulletin board that can be updated in real time. However, Trello isn’t just another to-do list management system. Far from it. I’ve used it to help me organise articles, email lists, and ideas. I’ve even used it for personal use such as books to read, grocery lists and keeping track of bills.
- Outsource What You Can’t Do
Everyone has their shortcomings. Felix Dennis (founder of Dennis Publishing and multi-billionaire) admitted in his book, How To Get Rich, (page 97) that he outsourced most of the work because he didn’t know how balance sheets & billings worked. He openly accepts that he’s bad with numbers, and handles it by having someone else do the work. If he didn’t recognise this fault, he probably wouldn’t have been as successful as he was in life. Outsourcing what you (or your staff) can’t do is incredibly time & cost-effective, too.
Look at your staff and figure out where their problems are, and why their head isn’t in the game. That way a solution can be found to make your business run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.