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Edition 56 – O is for Organisation

To drive better performance out of your family business in 2017, you need to get organised – quick smart.

I’m amazed at the number of businesses I walk into and the dog’s breakfast I’m confronted with. Whether it is stuff stacked all higgledy-piggledy in the factory or papers strewn everywhere in the offices, it is the first sign, to me, of a business that is disorganised.

If you don’t get organised, you’re going to lose track of what it is you need to do. If you do that, you’ll let down a good customer and, eventually, may end up losing them. That will impact the profitability and long term financial viability of any business.

Here is a list of “shoulds” that every family business needs to consider in 2017.

  1. Every business should have its own way of how it does business.
  2. Every business should document the way that it does business.
  3. Every business should train everyone in the business how business is done.
  4. Every business should review, regularly, how it does business and whether it is the right way to do business tomorrow.
  5. Every business should repeat this process.

My long standing argument for being systemised has a corporate role model – McDonald’s. Like them or not, for whatever reasons they may be, McDonald’s thrives as a business today based on the systems that are in place and which are then implemented by 16 year olds. The same 16 year olds that can’t tidy their bedrooms and leave last week’s lunch in their school bag. Proof positive that systems work!

By adopting this approach to organising your family business, you will accelerate through 2017 with a way of doing business that everyone understands and no one deviates from.

Organisation is most lacking, however, in the ability of most people to not manage their time or their diaries. Despite the fact that most people carry their diary in their pocket these days, few owners and managers of family businesses are actually diligent in setting time aside to:

  1. Keep in touch with customers outside of the normal sales process.
  2. Offer guidance and counsel to key staff.
  3. Consider the direction of their business.
  4. Make the time to engage with suppliers to see what new and exciting developments are on the horizon.
  5. Speak to other people in business and swap war stories.
  6. Make the time to see family and lock in special events.

We seem to think in the modern era that when the phone rings or the email beeps that something has to be responded to immediately. Wrong answer! If that is the way you are running your family business, you are not actually devoting the level of considered attention that most of your customers, employees and suppliers truly want from their relationship with you. By getting organised with your time, and being diligent in sticking to it, you will be more productive and less stressed (which in itself, further improves productivity).

Organisation for family businesses is the fifth pillar of what it takes to truly transform your family business in 2017. It’s time to get organised.

This Week’s Tip

Organisation creates uniformity. Uniformity creates efficiency. Efficiency builds profitability.