Published: 29 January 2016
Setting: A small business in the Midwest with 4 employees and the boss. Business is 20 years old and showing its age. Boss is 50 years old and burned out.
6:30 am Woke up late. Was supposed to do the treadmill
this morning. Too tired.
7:30 am Out of the house and on the way to work. Uck. Road closure. I remember my wife telling me something
about that last night. Should have listened. Uck again. I just spilled my coffee.
8:14 am Glad Sue was here to open up at 8. Having to detour around the road block really clogged up the roads.
8:30 am Have a new coffee, sitting at my desk, trying to decide what to do first.
Takeaway: Get organized the night before. Make a list of things to do the next day. Note any disruptions which will upset your day. Even lay out your clothes, if you move slowly in the morning.
9:05 am Liz rolls into the office only 65 minutes late. Again. Sue and Joseph are rolling their eyes. I guess I need to say
something. Maybe tomorrow.
9:20 am Sue came into my office to tell me the electric company is there to collect a check or turn off our electricity.
What? I didn’t pay them?
9:28 am Well, now the bank account is $848 lower because I forgot to pay them for three months. I wonder who else I
owe. . .
Takeaway: It is imperative to have an organized method for bill paying. A company rises and falls on its books and if you have no idea what you owe, you will constantly run into problems that will deplete your cash flow at awkward times. Know what you owe, when it is due, and pay on time. If you can’t pay on time, call the company, explain, and set up a payment schedule. Most companies will work with you.
10:03 am Yikes. I just knocked over that stack of papers I was supposed to go through, and now they are all over the
floor. I will bet there are things in there from 6 months ago that I didn’t get to. Oh, well. I guess that is what I have
employees for. Joseph! Can you come pick up this mess?
Takeaway: Research has shown that there is a direct relationship between clutter and productivity. If your desk is cluttered, you probably are not getting much done. Get rid of those stacks of paper by using the acronym FAT: File it, Act upon it, or Toss it.
10:38 am Joseph just finished picking up all of the paper on the floor and he is taking all of it to his desk to try to organize
it all. I haven’t checked my email yet. Oh, look at this one! GREAT joke! And my cousin George wrote. Wonder how
they all are doing? Oh, this email is a complaint from a customer. I’ll deal with that tomorrow. Sigh. There are 496
more emails that I haven’t read. When am I going to have time for that?
Takeaway: Email should be checked regularly at specific times of the day. In addition, personal emails should not come to a business email address. Email is like regular mail: deal with it immediately so that problems don’t sit around or get ignored. Email, like a cell phone, eats time and productivity. Take charge of it and control the way you use it.
11:15 am Sue just came into the office to complain about Liz. She wants to know why Liz doesn’t have to follow the rules
and everyone else does. I guess Liz just left for an early and long lunch. She also left her work for Sue and Joseph to
finish. Well, maybe I will talk to her tomorrow. . . Think I’ll take an early lunch too.
Takeaway: Your company should have an employee handbook, stating the rules that you expect your employees to follow. If you have an employee who is consistently flaunting those rules, you need to address the problem immediately. First warning can be verbal. Use the “sandwich” technique: compliment, discipline, compliment. Second warning should be in writing, cautioning the employee that if there are any more infractions, their employment will be terminated. This is not something you can ignore and still think your company can function.
Second Takeaway: The boss is the general of the troops, leading them all to financial success. If the boss doesn’t take himself and the company seriously, why should the employees? Coming in late, taking early lunches, not doing anything productive in the work hours, and being disorganized send a terrible message to everyone who works for you.
We don’t have to go any further, for I am sure that you have the picture. This boss is tired of working, totally disorganized, and worse—he doesn’t care. If you feel like this, it might be time to ready your company to be sold. Obviously, with a company like this, there is some work to be done on “systems,” but if you do “fix things,” you will get a much better price for your asset.
The Savickas Group has worked with many different entities, in all stages of organization. We have helped companies solidify their sales forces, organize their accounts receivable and payable, and tidy up the bits that buyers look at. If you wish to chat, we welcome your call—there is no obligation. In addition, we have produced an ebook which will help you gain perspective on the process. Contact us for a FREE copy of Maximize Your Exit, 9 Tips to Capitalize on the Sale of Your Business: 1.888.210.8269 or email@example.com. We welcome your questions.
Thanks to Ronnie Day for his creative commons photo.