How to avoid business mistakes

Patti and colleagues at her Believe You Can Luncheon!

Patti and colleagues at her Believe You Can Luncheon!

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I come up with the most interesting ideas while I am swimming at 5:00 a.m. every Thursday morning. This particular swim brought about some new awareness and it happened after my friend and accountability partner had shared some advice regarding my swimming technique.

I thought carefully as I moved through the water and tried to focus on the technique that she had shared. I soon realized that the new technique reducedthe resistance of the water and allowed me to swim faster. I got to thinking about all the times in my business that I didn’t focus on better techniques and processes, even when tasks were consistently being completed inefficiently.

Can you relate to this scenario?: I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off and we realize that we missed something on an order. The first thought that jumps into my mind is that we must fix it and just as quickly as possible. The fix usually involves a loss of some sort as our main focus is making sure the client is taken care of.

Now, this is where the technique idea enters the picture. I can’t tell you how many times I would put out a fire and just keep going.

The key here is that I needed to address the reason the mistake was made in the first place.

It seems logical enough, but for some unknown reason, this seemingly common sense idea eluded me for many years.

Once I understood the power of reviewing my company’s systems and checklists, we were able to see issues and, more importantly, address the areas that needed revisions. This was such a revealing and fulfilling process. Oh, it took some time, commitment, and dedication on everyone’s part! But I will tell you that it was well worth it!

So the next time you have an issue come up in your business, your organization, or any other group or entity in your life, make sure to really pick apart the reasons why.

Here are some ideas to keep on hand and some open-ended questions to make sure you limit your business mistakes:

  1. Shortly after you discover a potential problem with a process, take the time to ask questions to determine where the issue starts – even though it feels like you don’t have the time. This discovery will likely save you thousands as you move in the direction of excellence.
  2. Use the brilliance of your team to help come up with better and more efficient ways of doing things. I am pleasantly surprised many times.
  3. Make sure to create a process sheet (if you don’t already have one) with all of the steps clearly and succinctly stated. Try out the process sheet with someone who doesn’t know your business to check to make sure the steps are accurate.

Implement these tips and you are sure to address some issues taking place in your processes and systems. This will equate to a significant, positive change in your bottom line over time.

 

Patti Kadkhodaian owns AJAKO, an embroidery and promotional product company in Peachtree City.  John Maxwell certified, she also adds value through coaching, workshops and speaking. Contact Patti at 678 472 1199 or patti@ajako.net or visit her websites www.ajako.net and www.pattik.net.

 

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March 21, 2016

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