My husband and I were enjoying our dinner meal one evening while discussing various plans and ideas. I was sharing that I wanted to submit articles and ads to a huge number of ezines to market my eProgram in a big way, and I wanted his help to make this happen. His response stopped me in my tracks, "Can your systems handle the increased demand?"
I know that my online systems and processes are capable of handling significant transaction volumes daily - but there are still a couple manual processes that are not as smooth as they could be and at times they may not create the very best experience. With the current demand, I can tolerate these manual processes and easily get by, but the additional demand that I expect from my marketing efforts will make these tolerations intolerable very quickly. If I had moved forward without changing and extending my systems first, I would have risked some very important things - my new customers' loyalty and my sanity!
It seems like I am frequently in this push-pull situation. The need to establish the right system setup conflicts with going after the opportunities. With my strategic sense, I can see several steps ahead. I often get really excited about those steps and I'm eager jump ahead before it's time.
I see this as a challenge for both large and small businesses alike. I believe the successful ones plan their operations and implement the correct systems to properly manage the increased demand loads. The key is to take strategic steady steps forward - you need to learn to walk before you run. All businesses need a solid foundation or platform of business operations so they are able to easily handle increased business needs and growth while serving the customers well. This is fundamental. Otherwise, the business owner may easily become overwhelmed.
The Top Ten Qualities that Allow Business Operations to Grow Easily:
1. Scalable - Operations are scalable, easily handling exponential, sudden demand.
2. Designed to create great customer experiences (while meeting business needs) - Operations provide a consistent, repeatable level of service that caters to the customer each and every time.
3. Flow through - Efficient operations allow all transactions to flow through the business effortlessly, with minimal manual effort or intervention where manual effort only occurring when it makes good strategic sense.
4. Professional looking - Operations help you present a professional face to the customer at all times.
5. Simple - The processes are simple and straightforward for both you and your customers. They are simple to use, simple to maintain and simple to execute. Everything is done quickly and efficiently.
6. Tested - Operational processes are tested and produce repeated successful results.
7. Backed up - Operational systems are always backed up and the back up is also backed up.
8. Documented - All processes are documented, including customers' experiences as well as team members' roles and objectives.
9. Understood - The whole team knows and understands the operating procedures and suggests ongoing improvements.
10. Improved Upon - Improvements are proactively discovered through the conscientious observation of the customer's experiences as well as though direct customer feedback. Adjustments to improve the customer's experience are incorporated quickly and with easily.
I believe that these ten qualities can be applied to any operation - at work or at home. Examples at home include, but are not limited to, meal preparation, house maintenance and bill paying.
Copyright 2004 Donna P. Lendzyk
Donna P. Lendzyk is a professional coach and creator of the Overcome Overwhelm System. She coaches businesswomen to "Overcome Overwhelm and Achieve Their Desired Results." She is the author of the multi-media "Overcome Overwhelm eProgram." To learn more about her eProgram and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her website at http://www.overcomeoverwhelm.com