Before you trash this, ask yourself one question:
Do I know everything there is to know about running a business?
I sent out a newsletter last year about some of the amazing things I’ve achieved in both my business and personal roles because I thought it might inspire people to reconnect with things they’ve always wanted to do in their own lives. The newsletter received such a positive response that I’ve started a regular column here featuring interesting insights and comments about some of my favourite topics: Life, Running a Business, and Coffee.
As a small business owner, I do pretty much everything in my business, including being Chief Coffee Officer (CCO). I’m always on the lookout for ways to add value to my customers, and improve the way I do business. This mind-set sent me to do an MBA in 2005, and subsequently to create significant growth in Imagin8, while allowing me more time to serve more customers. Over the past 10 years, I’ve also been actively involved in lecturing business management to middle and senior managers as pert-time faculty for USB-ed and Duke Corporate Education.
Yes, it sounds very counter-intuitive. My business has grown. Surely I should be more busy? If that’s the case with your business, then I’m glad you’re still reading because that’s exactly why I started this newsletter.
3 Simple Tips
Whether you’re in business for yourself, or working a job, there are some simple practices you can adopt that allow you more time to grow your business:
- Everything is up for renewal. No process or activity in your business is perfect, or beyond improvement. There’s always room for improvement, even if you save a few seconds per task or activity. Seconds add up, and every one counts.
- Complaints are invitations to improve. A Complaint from a customer is a signal that there is room for improvement in your service delivery. If a customer takes the time to contact you to complain, you’ve just been presented with an opportunity. Sure, you have to address their problem, but more important, something in your operations or service delivery still contains the flaw that produced the error. If it could go wrong with this customer, it could happen again. Don’t look for the quick fix. Spend as much time as it takes to refine your processes so that this problem goes away forever and doesn’t affect other customers in the future.
- You wear three hats in your business, not only one. Although most of your time is spent doing the operational work of the business (or your day job), which is probably your strongest technical skill, like being an accountant, or a software developer, or a personal trainer, there are two hats you need to put on occasionally. One is The Manager who needs to organize processes and activities so that your business runs efficiently and delivers a reliable, consistent service. The other is the Entrepreneur who needs to come out every now and again to improve the way you do things, and to look for new opportunities.
Questions from Managers and Business Owners
Everyone reading this article is dealing with some business problem right now that they wish they had an answer to. If that’s you, you’re not alone, but more important, I’m selecting one question every week to talk about in this newsletter. What’s your problem? Email me, and let me know. You’ll hear from a team of professionals and educators that I work with, and with whom I have spent many hours in the classroom discussing and posing problems to many business challenges. Knowledge and education are the key to solving many of the problems we face. So go ahead, fire away.
Some exciting news on a personal note: This week my second novel, Porter’s Rule: Slave to the City goes on sale in the Kindle store on Amazon. Catch the price promotion from October 10th for two days only. The earlier you buy your copy, the bigger the discount. You can pre-order your paperback copy from www.adamrabinowitz.co.za.