Jul 17 2010

Halfway Businesses

A job half done


is half UN-done


     Like the proverbial half-full or half-empty glass debate, businesses and business projects are often left UN-done. When this happens, the entities can usually be expected to unravel completely or take a giant step toward miserable failure.

     Seldom do we see an enterprise or project be abandoned before maturity (except for examples in, for instance, the new home construction market and associated trades, where government incompetencies ushered in a full housing market collapse), and still make a difference at any personal, industry, or market level.


     What can you do to instill a stronger sense of stick-to-it-iveness in yourself and in your people, or your outsourced project managers?


     Start with yourself! What you do others will follow. The best way to ensure that you finish what you start is to plan your approach and monitor your progress. Something as simple as keeping a nightly, just-before-you-leave-work Attack List (Hint: chunks of tasks work light years better than itemizing full-scale tasks) of things you need to do the next morning.

     When the list is done (and whatever doesn’t make it to the paper or task program screen before 3 minutes is up, isn’t generally worth remembering!), prioritize items with number rankings or multiple asterisks, and proceed in that order, making notations of other unexpected items that surface and perhaps even renumbering everything.

     Take that task list to task with a see-through marker every time a listed item gets done; that allows you to review what’s been accomplished, what’s been interrupted, and what needs more attention. 

     This is not as trying experience as you might imagine if you accept the likelihood that you will be interrupted and disrupted, and account for that inevitability by keeping your mind flexible enough to accept alternative routes and options on the fly.

     Yes, this is an entrepreneurial instinct, but anyone can make it work. It requires only that you keep open-minded. Easy? Yes, but for that to happen, you need to agree with yourself to suspend all judgments.

     Suspending judgments, prejudices, biases, is essential because these will otherwise get in the way of your progress. And of course if you don’t finish projects and communications and tasks, how can you expect those who report to you to do that?

     LBE (Leadership By Example) counts even more than transparency if there must be a choice for where to apply your energy. Transparency keeps your team bolstered, motivated, and challenged under all circumstances, but without you setting daily examples, it will be difficult at best to even approach the point of operating your business with complete openness.

     So, it’s . . . 

  1. Open your mind
  2. Set examples for others to follow
  3. As more work gets done, completed and on schedule, begin moving your business to be more transparent. Note the implication of the words, “begin moving” which means taking it step at a time (instead of all at once), which is usually the best way to approach any business situation.

 www.TWWsells.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You. God Bless America and our troops. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day!

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Aug 23 2009


A Propensity for Cantankerosity


     Not only have hard economic times  wrought hard times for business, they’ve also turned a lot of previously pleasant customers into snot-nosed, demanding, arrogant, cranky brats! In their worrisome preoccupation with getting the most value for their dollar, many customers have become much more demanding and unreasonable.

     The bad, low-trust reputations  of big-business bankers and automakers —underscored by the sea of incompetency that’s home to government administrators and politicians who haven’t a shred of business experience or know-how— have trickled down to a point where beat-up consumers are distrusting even the small, local supermarket and neighborhood newsstand.

     The manager of an upscale hotel,  who is as honest and customer-attentive as anyone who’s ever walked, reports his Guests have been getting increased service and complaining more. Service demands on the hotel’s already high-performance-level staff have no direct bearing on  accommodations, amenities, or services.

  • One man created an uproar because he parked under a tree overnight and ended up with sap on his windshield. The staff spent an hour trying to clean off the sap, but their efforts weren’t sufficient or quick enough for the man’s liking. He left in a barrage of complaints and threats.
  • A visiting couple made a ruckus over not having enough to do because it rained so much during their stay. Their access to movie selections, spa, fully stocked library and fully-equipped game room, plus endless nearby attractions was apparently not sufficient.

     A local farmer  tells me people are taking thirteen ears of corn and paying for twelve.      

     A retailer  known for offering discounted merchandise, much of it with minimal markup has been besieged lately with customers looking to make price deals below his costs.

     Yes, there are many examples  of the new consumer pushiness, but the bottom line remains unchanged for business owners and managers:

     The Customer Is ALWAYS Right!

     Unless physical harm  is represented, or someone is clearly breaking the law (unfortunately, it’s not worth the phone call to sic the police on someone who’s stolen one ear of corn!), you and your people have to suck it up and cater to the cantankerous.

     Like it or not,  we have to accept that it’s all part of the change of life on this planet that’s surfaced with the bad global economy. There is really only one solution if you expect to stay in business today and tomorrow: “KILL ‘EM WITH KINDNESS!” 

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Input aways welcome: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  

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