Organising Chaos

Running a small business is always chaos no matter what the industry or the product or service category, the nature of being small is that it all starts out as chaos.

You might think that as you become more successful the chaos will subside as you hire people into roles to cover different tasks.

But the reality is that as you grow the chaos will probably get worse and you as the owner might feel more overwhelmed and wish for the days when you did everything yourself.

It doesn’t have to be that way though, all you need to do is take the advice of Michael Gerber and work on your business not in your business.

Working on your business in this context looks like developing clear systems for every area of your business.

The easiest place to ease some pressure on yourself is actually developing systems for the areas you are having to fight fires in most often.

Take the most recent problem or fire you’ve had to put out and move upstream from it to figure out:

A) What’s causing the problem?
B) What you can do to prevent it from happening again?

This might look like finding out why customers aren’t receiving the correct orders and building a quality assurance system that checks each order before it ships from your facility.

Or it might look like building a sales system so that customers are having a uniform experience each time they move through your pipeline.

Working on the areas where you are already fighting fires will pay off dividends for the time you invest in establishing a system as you’ll be freed up from fighting as many fires and then be able to invest that time into developing systems for other less critical areas thus creating a virtuous cycle of business improvement.

The added benefit of this approach is that as you grow with systems in place you’ll be able to scale yourself and you’ll avoid gaining new issues as you hire new staff to take over roles and reduce your overall management stress.

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