There are many business administration philosophies in the world, i.e. sayings that inspire and guide us. Some of the more common ones you might be familiar with include:
- “Think big“
- “Lead from the front“
- “Just do it“
- “Begin with the end in mind“
- “Don’t worry, be happy“
- “Only touch things once“
- “No pain no gain“
- “Work on your business, not in it“
Just Three Words Can Turn Anyone Into a Productivity Master
Today’s entrepreneur, startup or small business owner lives in a time unparalleled in history. We have technology, globalisation, democratisation of business, access to capital and opening up of markets.
This has made it possible for business owners to do more than ever. Running a business can be done more efficiently than it ever has been.
There is, however, a conundrum. You are now at risk of trying to do too much. Additionally, it is entirely possible that you don’t concentrate on the right things. You could find yourself lagging behind your competitors in terms of utilising technology and making use of these efficiency gains.
In this brief guide, I’d like to share with you a philosophy we have developed in our own business over the years. It is based on results we have achieved and mistakes we have made in terms of administering our business. We regularly take-stock and review our overall strategies with this powerful saying in mind and in doing so, we continue to see success in reaching our own goals.
Nominate, Delegate, Automate
The business administration philosophy we live by goes like this:
- Nominate what work is most important to your business.
- Delegate out to the best people to do the work.
- Automate work that gives you positive returns by doing so.
Follow Them Regularly and You WILL Be More Productive
“What is behind these three philosophies?” you might be thinking. Well, I’m glad you asked. Grab a drink or a snack and let’s go through them together.
The modern business owner is essentially baffled by choice in terms of what they can do in their business these days. There are countless references, research, ideas, examples, packages, tools, best-practices, opportunities etc. available to tap into. Similarly, there is so much noise, clutter and stress in the modern business world that it is easy to get distracted and overwhelmed.
In order to deal with this over-exposure, it is very important that you focus on the particular things your business will work on at any given time. In other words, the smart business owner must nominate which activities are going to provide the most value. Make a choice from the best options available to you and then stick to them.
There is actually a fairly popular related idea in the book titled The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papsan. The essential concept here is narrowing down your focus and tuning out distractions so you can stay on track. Nominate what work is most important to your business.
This one is quite straight-forward. There are only so many hours in a day, only so many days in a week and only so many weeks in a year. You cannot do everything yourself in your business. If you want to grow and/or achieve your goals, you must get things done effectively and efficiently.
Delegation is the tactic that smart business owners and successful people use to get more done. Great companies grow by spreading the work out to staff or by outsourcing to specialist service providers. The power of the many far outweighs the capacity of the individuals.
The end goal is to generate value to your customers and reach your targeted results whatever they may be (i.e. sales, revenue, profit, cost reduction, etc.). As you can probably see, there are so many things that your business will need to do to achieve its targeted results. Hence, you are going to find that you run out of hours in the day far earlier than you finish everything that needs to be done.
Once you nominate which work has the highest priority, then determine the best team of people to do the work and delegate tasks out to the them. By delegating, you will find that you have much more time available to focus on bigger picture strategic activities that will have a stronger contribution to your overall goals.
Since the start of the industrial age, successful businesses have risen due in-part to their ability to streamline their work and undertake business activities in more efficient ways. Your historical examples include the mechanical loom, the manufacturing production line, the mechanical typewriter. Modern day examples include the use of computers, word-processors, on-line services, robotics and software systems.
In today’s modern business environment, there are more opportunities to streamline and gain efficiencies than ever before. The primary mechanism available these days is via automation. And for the the entrepreneur, startup and small business owner, this primarily means automation through the use of software.
When you have an activity in your business that you have nominated as important, and you have considered it ready to be delegated, then it could be candidate to be automated. Some of the main things to consider in terms of automating a business activity are how often you need to do it, how much would it cost to automate, how much would you save by automating, how repeatable it is, how simple or complicated it is, what options exist for automation.
In other words, what you are trying ascertain when considering automation for something is it worth your while and how hard would it be to automate. If your estimates result in you seeing some sort of positive return on automating something, and it aligns with your overall strategic direction, then it is worth considering.
There are substantial benefits available from automating tasks in your business. Essentially, what it comes down to is reduction in time and reduction in costs, the main ones being labour and materials. If an automation decision results in more time and more money for your business, then what’s not to love?!
Some examples of things you can automate these days include:
- Marketing (i.e. emails, blog posts, social media posts)
- Sales (i.e. for products)
- Inventory management
- Customer support
- Testimonial requests
- Payment processing
- Internal workflow processes
- Customer on-boarding
- Employee administration
- Financial and operations reporting
- Key metrics calculation
How Could You Apply This Business Administration Philosophy?
There you have it. A mantra that focuses on three key areas for your business. By keeping these three at the forefront of your mind and implementing them when appropriate, you will start seeing the benefits.
The best way to start is to simply grab a blank sheet of paper, divide into three columns and jot down the first ideas that come to mind. What can you nominate, delegate and automate in your business?
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Given Dan comes from a technology background, we love automation here at Smart Business Guardian. Are there activities in your business you have successfully automated? Let us know in the comments below.