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Edition 33 – Today’s Jobs Today

There’s an old saying “why put off to tomorrow what you can do today”? People say it yet they don’t embrace it. In actual fact, amongst the many family businesses I see, I believe the saying is inverted — why do it today when there’s always tomorrow?

The directors of one of the great family businesses that I work with have a mantra of “today’s jobs today”.

Their work is programmed up to six months in advance. They have multiple teams attend multiple sites daily. The nature of their work is such that if the field staff find an issue on site, the issue must be rectified within a set time period. It’s all about response time and the whole business delivering in actuality what the directors promise the client when they’ve negotiated a contract.

The problem is this. Whilst the directors live the mantra and most of the management team are on board with it, some people in their business either don’t embrace it, or won’t, which is a huge impediment to the business.

Today’s jobs today means this. You’ve promised a customer that you will sort their problem for them. So, why not set yourself apart and fix it today?

In my opinion, the heart of the problem in this business are the support team. Whilst I’m generalising, most of them don’t seem to understand what today’s jobs today is about and here’s my interpretation of why. The support team never leave the office! They don’t understand what it’s like on site for the field staff & the inconvenience of going back to site. They don’t sit in the same client meetings the directors do when they’re being told they’ve over promised and under delivered. They see any issue as an interruption to their day, not as an opportunity love a customer.

Here’s my tips for how family businesses can complete “today’s jobs today” which could improve productivity, increase profit, boost cashflow and create greater opportunity in your family business.

  1. List it down — what are the things you must do today?
  2. Prioritise — tick off first what’s important.
  3. Stop procrastinating — when you identify the issue, deal with it immediately if you can. If you can’t, plan how you’re going to resolve it quickly.
  4. Keep in touch — tell your client you’ve identified an issue and you’re going to resolve it. Then, keep them informed as to the progress of its resolution. You’ll feel obligated and they’ll feel loved.
  5. Sprint — find out the time of day when you have the most energy and plan the tasks of the day that require maximum brain power around those times.
  6. Use less words — make a quick call. Send a quick email. Have a quick conversation. Unless backstory is necessary, eliminate it, get to the core of the issue and resolve it.
  7. Plan tomorrow today — before you finish up for the day, map out what you’re looking to realistically achieve tomorrow. Often, your subconscious will consider it overnight and strategise how to make the next day productive and enjoyable.

This Week’s Tip

What is on your “Things to Do” list today that is carried over from yesterday? If it’s more than 10% of your list, try our seven tips to make tomorrow more productive.