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No matter how clean you live your life, there are always toxins evident in your body, you may not know it, but they’re there. Some people don’t even think twice about looking after their bodies, jumping into the latest detox cycle that health professionals and marketers say will help you live a healthier and happier life.
Just like your body, there are ‘toxins’ evident in your business… again, you may not know what they are or where to find them, but they’re there. Cleansing your business of these ‘toxins’ can give you the same enrichment you get from a body detox, why? Simply cleansing your business of the bottlenecks, speed bumps or hurdles can have a substantial impact on performance and profitability, helping you get even closer to reaching your full potential as a business, and as an entrepreneur.
There is nothing that will more undermine your strategy and vision than a misaligned team member. The gossiper. The disrupter. The guy with the negative energy that no matter what is happening in the business will have a negative version of events or comments to add. Your people are the heart of the business – do not tolerate team members that undermine your culture or even more importantly, your values.
We all at different times have taken on a client that we now know we shouldn't have. If, like me, you are driven to help people you may every now and then take on a few charity cases. But, when a client goes rogue and starts to abuse your team or are forever changing things at the last minute, maybe it is time for a client cleanse. There are many schools of thought on how to approach a client cleanse but my preferred starting point is asking the team who they hate working with [ usually these clients are the ones that make them tense up when they see their number calling ].
Do you rely on a certain supplier for an important step in your production? If so, then do what the big boys do and sure up that supply. Suppliers that constantly let you down, don't meet scheduled delivery times or often send surprise invoices are not on your team. This is business not backyard cricket - find suppliers that guarantee to meet your requirements on your terms and cleanse your business of those that cause headaches.
One of the major reasons change processes fail is management. If management undermine the change you are implementing then there is no chance of that change sticking. Talk about roadblocks, management that do notand will not comply are probably more like brick walls unless you can smash through the brick wall and get them back on the bus.
Many people set up business with a silent shareholder due to funding restraints. But, over time the need for those silent shareholders diminishes and yet often they remain. Agree upfront when silent shareholders come on board how you will buy them out when funds become available. Otherwise that silent shareholder can become a point on resentment and stop you from making the best long term decisions for you and your business.
Every time you add a new product or service to the mix you are adding another layer of complexity. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of selling another service to an existing product but often, we end up continuing to service products that no one really wants. Look at your profit by product line and then apply the 80/20 rule to identify any products that are underperforming either financially or strategically. Maybe it’s time for a product cull?
When was the last time you reviewed the monthly subscriptions going through your bank account? Often, we subscribe for something with the best of intentions but never end up using it or just forget about it. Every 6 to 12 months, run your finger down the bank statements and unsubscribe from any surplus subscriptions.
I’m a big advocate for putting together a standard report pack for management each month but over time some of those reports they once asked for are no longer needed. Maybe management don't realise how much effort you put into producing that one graph or maybe management focus has moved on from one issue to another. Every now and then, check in with management to see what reports they actually use and make the others redundant.
Are there steps in your processes that are no longer necessary or could be streamlined through integration or some other tweak of the process. Draw a picture of your process and challenge yourself to come up with ways to remove a couple of steps and make your business more efficient. For more on process mapping read, click here.
Like the human body, when one of the organs are not working properly it can start to impact the efficiency of your body as a whole. If your digestive system is not working as well as it should, your energy levels will drop and it becomes harder to do what was once easy. Find and eliminate any bottlenecks at same time as repairing anything in need of some maintenance or streamlining.
Improving profitability and the overall performance of your business can be as simple as starting to remove these ‘toxins’. Get your business detox underway by reviewing the above in your business and cleansing your business of those things that are slowing you down or holding you back from reaching your full potential as a business, and as an entrepreneur.
Also look at improving profitability and efficiency of your business by focussing on ‘waste’. You may have heard about Toyota 7 Deadly Wastes in the production process, well this is just as relevant for any other business. We all have some sort of ‘waste’ in our business that is creating road blocks.
Start identifying waste in your business...