As business advisors, the time that we spend face to face with our clients is precious. While we consistently advocate time efficiency, too many times prospective clients seek us out too late. At this point, their list of “bedtime worries” never gets smaller, and continues to grow beyond their capability to manage them. This is when we advocate implementing a “Turnaround Strategy.”
Many business owners are wary of a turnaround strategy, but for those that choose to embark on it, there are a few strategies that start this worthwhile journey. However, before the strategies, you must accept that it is in fact a journey, rather than a destination. These steps are necessary, but they are only the beginning of the turnaround strategy.
If you find yourself asking, “Where did I leave that calendar?” you probably are struggling with time management. Often, chaos is a bi-product of inconsistent or non-existent time management practices. Ask yourself, “Do I have a detailed plan of what I am doing each day, beginning to end? Is it calendared?” If not, time management is a must. And, “It’s all in my head” is not an option – your brain is already exhausted!
Do you and your employees know your daily and weekly Primary and Secondary duties in the company? Have they been listed out lately? Understandably, your duties change, but do you have set and defined expectations? Often, we ask owners to list the job duties of each of their employees. Then we ask the employees to list their own duties. It’s amazing that the two lists are usually very different. You can’t blame your people for not doing what you never asked them to do in the first place! Plus, defining duties allows you to keep your employees accountable for required tasks.
If you think you don’t have time for meetings, you probably also have daily chaos. Team meetings (notice it says team, not staff) are an essential part of efficient, productive and well-developed teams. We advise most clients to have two types of meetings:
- A 5-minute stand up meeting to gather the team together at the start of each day, discuss the day’s activities, and briefly discuss potential challenges.
- A weekly team meeting that is more in depth. There should be a written agenda, and each team member should participate. This is where accountability for each of the company’s members is established. It should always take place on the same day and time, lasting from 30-90 minutes. All electronic usage should be eliminated, unless it’s being used for the purpose of the meeting.You might even treat the team to bagels, donuts, or danishes!
Motivation and Inspiration
We often ask prospects when we first meet: Why do you do what you do? We frequently get a blank stare in response. In business, we become programmed to share what we do, and how we do it. But when we forget why we do what we do, the struggles in our business become insurmountable. Our self-belief decreases, and we stop enjoying being a business owner. Months and years later, we own a job instead of owning an inspiring business. We often advise that business owners make a list of ten things they want. We label this list, “MY WHY.” They can be material, spiritual, behavioral, and emotional. Ultimately, these are your reasons for change, what motivates you, and the results that would come from getting out of your own way. Because if you don’t know the why, the what and the how don’t matter.
Implementing a Turnaround Strategy is difficult, and requires commitment and investment. Your spouse, partner, employees, and the economy are not responsible for the decision – It is yours alone. But, if you are willing to put in the hard work, the end result is peace, efficiency, and success, both personally and professionally.