Does it ever feel like there’s just not enough time to do all that must be done? You’re not alone. Who hasn’t uttered the proverbial, “Time flies,” at some point or another?
Though each of us has the same amount of time in our day as our ancestors had, we who have the most time-saving gadgets and guidelines also express the most complaints about not having enough time.
Think about this. In a mere 240 years, America has gone from walking hours (or even days) to the nearest settlement, to flying across the country and back in a single day…from waiting weeks or months for a letter, to receiving emails in an instant.
We carry libraries in the palm of our hands, and can instantly communicate across the world.
And yet we “never have enough time.”
How in the world can this be?
Here’s the thing that happens. The faster we can go, send messages, or make a purchase; the faster we expect to arrive, get a response, or receive the package. The relativity of time efficiencies gets lost in the reality of time expectations, and the two are in a constant, frenetic tug of war.
This makes it tough for those in the traditional business world.
How can you, as the leader of a business, possibly keep up or even get ahead?
Create Faster Decision Mechanisms
There are times when waiting for a board meeting, in order to get approval on something, results in loss of business – simply because the competition has figured out a faster way to make decisions and move forward. This is where technology can assist – electronic meetings not only save on costs; they also save time…which as we have observed is absolutely critical. If you’re still having only quarterly meetings and printing paper copies of board books that are out of date as soon as the pages come off the copier, you might want to re-think your board meeting and decision-making strategy.
If your decisions are more internal, use technology to create an efficient means of communication on projects. It’s a non-linear world, and with the right process, you can empower your team to make multiple decisions and keep various components of the project moving forward at the same time.
Create Better Availability
It’s no longer just the early bird who gets the worm – it’s the bird who flies the fastest and never stops moving. Now that is not to say that you work your people non-stop. That obviously is not a good idea. It will only serve to create burnout. But you may need to add personnel or adjust schedules in order to better meet the needs of your customers.
Create Greater Efficiencies
There are those among us who are incredibly gifted in the area of processes. It may be time to tap into their expertise to help create processes and automations that will save time and money – and generate more income as well.
Create a Strengths-Based Team
In most businesses, personnel costs are the single biggest factor in the cost of business. With tight margins, it pays exponentially to develop a strengths-based team. Why is this? According to Gallup, employee engagement in the U.S. is 30%. That is actually higher than many parts of the world. But still, this means 70% of employees are not engaged in their work. Imagine the benefit to your company if you could flip that ratio. You can do this by hiring “A” players with specific skills and then simply empowering them to do those things they do best.
Create Instantly Accessible Customer Service
We are, indeed, a 24/7 society. This makes customer service even more important than ever. Whenever your business is open for access or purchasing a product or program, be sure your customer service is open as well. For some, this may be an 800 number or chat…or both. Emailing to ask questions should be available, but if it is your only means to answer questions from your clients, you could be losing business. Where shipping is a factor, be sure to keep your customers apprised of the status of their package. This is where companies like Zappos and Amazon excel – they are constantly seeking ways to deliver a faster and more pleasant customer experience. And then, finally, don’t forget your customers after their engagement. Business marketing is not like the old days. People are onto the typical sales pitch and tend to tune it out or turn it off. Today’s most powerful marketing tool is relationship marketing.
In previous generations, we progressively had years, months, and weeks to develop and deliver our goods and services. Today, we no longer have that luxury. Today, we must deliver world-class service and products as close to instantly as possible. Keep the margins tight by developing a strong team and strong processes for your business.
For help in creating a solid strengths-based team in your business, contact Deb Ingino. Deb has expert experience in developing successful teams across the world for businesses just like yours.