Have you ever been surprised, or even frustrated, in your business, when you have asked someone to do something and the result is totally different from what you wanted?
Perhaps you may have felt at times that you wished you could clone yourself so that you would always get the results you know you could get. When you let others do the work you have normally done, they end up producing something different and often inferior. It seems that life can be full of surprises, and not always pleasant ones.
One of the greatest challenges in business comes when you need to delegate work to other people. Because everyone is an individual, it is rare that two people will think the same way. What seems obvious to you is a mystery to someone else.
What You Don’t Want
When your business grows and you have multiple people doing similar work, they will often do the work differently and get different results. This variability leads to many issues such as poor quality, poor productivity, costly mistakes and worst of all, dissatisfied, or even angry, customers.
The Importance of Quality
No business manager would argue that quality is not important. Most agree that quality is a competitive advantage. Customers will generally keep coming back if they are satisfied with your products and service. The trouble is there are many pressures involved with running a business that conflict with the desire and ability to produce quality products and service. The requirement to keep costs down to remain competitive, keep delivery times down to maintain a high level of service, maintain good cash flow, etc., all conflict with the achievement of quality at times. More often than not, a small business that has built its reputation on quality finds this ideal hard to maintain when its popularity creates pressures of growth.
Too often, quality suffers as a result of employing people who have insufficient skill or experience to know what to do at critical times. These people always demand more time from the boss, asking what they should do about a problem, or even what to do next. This situation puts even more pressure on the owner, who in addition to running a busy business and trying to keep customers happy, now has to train an unskilled, possibly unmotivated, worker as well.
There is always a need to manage the conflict between the urgent and the important. If the urgent always rules, then the business will be locked into this urgency, because all of the current problems that exist in the business will never be dealt with. These problems create inefficiency and contribute to the urgency.
Systems Create Magic
It is important for the future of the business to allow some time for these problems to be solved. Business systems need to be developed and improved to eliminate problems and to enable the production of quality products and the provision of quality service.
When business systems are developed as the business grows and are promoted as “the way we do things here,” then there is an order and structure to the whole thing that is evident for all to see. This is McDonald’s approach. Their way of doing things has been so successful that they have managed to build a multinational organization operated mainly by teenagers. These are the same teenagers that most other business owners complain about for their lack of initiative and energy.
The almost magical happens when you create the structure and systems in your business to achieve the highest quality and efficiency possible and employ people who will be inspired by your vision, then enable them to work by and on “the way we do things here.” This will assist your employees to make every product and every interaction with customers so good that they will want to come back for more and will want to bring their friends as well.