It’s likely that at some point in the course of your business, you’ll overcomplicate things. As an entrepreneur who operates on a constant stream of ideas and inspiration, it’s easy to let my ideas run away with me. But the truth is, unless you’re actually doing rocket science, your business – the everyday processes and methods – isn’t rocket science.
I believe when you can streamline your business practices, that creates space for the really important work to be done.
Here’s three big picture ideas on how to make your business less complicated:
- Know when to get into the weeds, and when not to.
Focus on the big picture for your team. For me, I find this is most helpful to share during weekly all-staff meetings. We can all get overloaded with the details and the numbers, while some people are energized by that, it can really help to refocus the why from the what when you take a look at the big picture. I usually like to share a story of something that happened during the week that reminds me – and my team – why we do what we do. It’s inspiring, motivating and energizing to remind yourself of the purpose of your business.
On the other hand, I think it’s also important to know when to get into the weeds. At the beginning of the year, you might share some numbers for where you see the business going in the next year. It’s detail heavy, and it might be a lot to take in, but goal forecasting can be a powerful exercise in seeing tangible projected growth.
- Make clear job descriptions.
At Vanderbloemen, ever-increasing agility is emphasized as a core part of the culture. Each employee has extra job duties built into their job description, because flexibility on a team is important. When something unexpected happens – and it will – agility allows you to handle any curveball with grace and calmness.
At the same time, it has been incredibly helpful to develop clear job descriptions.
This is twofold: each person on the team knows what they are responsible for accomplishing and what contributions they bring to the table, and the rest of the team knows who to look to when they need something.
It cuts down on unnecessary work, duplicate processes, and encourages accountability and teamwork. Having too many people who are unsure of who does what is an easy source of frustration – and when you have too much conflict on a team, no one is productive.
- Streamlining communication may be one of the most productive things you do.
Back when Vanderbloemen was only 8-10 employees, replying all to emails was no big deal. We’d send company correspondence, requests, general chatter all over email and everyone got it. But now that the company and the team has grown significantly, we’ve moved some of the fun workplace chatter off email and into group texts or other forums, and tried to streamline the team emails so that the right people get the right information without overloading the entire team. One of the consultants did the math on how long it would take just to read all the emails flying around, and that alone added up to too much work time spent just reading emails.
We’ve also relied on a tier of communication that has worked really effectively: if someone calls you, call them back immediately. If someone texts you, respond as soon as you can. If someone emails you, try to respond within 24 hours. This sets clear communication standards and alleviates unnecessary pressure to respond to everything at once.
Streamlining communication may be one of the most productive things you do for your business.
Utilizing some of these ideas and remembering that your business isn’t rocket science can help your business become faster, more productive, and more creative – and ultimately, the best at what you do.