Many years ago, when my wife and I owned a busy pub and hotel on the edge of Dartmoor, we wanted to do it up, but had no spare capital to do this, as we’d invested all our money into buying the business – and ongoing essential repairs were eating up our profit as we went!
So, as well as keeping the business open, we embarked upon a continual programme of redecoration: employing someone to run the bar and close up from 10pm, while we did a couple of hours painting and decorating last thing at night in the bar.
During this exercise, I learned two very useful lessons:
- Trying to repaint a bar area at night with well oiled customers around us wasn’t a great idea, and
- Painting & decorating wasn’t one of my strengths!
And when I say ‘not one of my strengths’, I mean that I seemed to get more paint in my hair and on my clothes than the walls, my wife often had to redo doors and windows that It’d already done, I managed to fill the back of the car with emulsion when transporting it, and one more than one occasion I stepped into the roller tray!
Now, I may be creating a self-fulfilling belief here, but, it seems to me that painting & decorating is one of those jobs that’s best left to others who can do it more quickly, more effectively and with much better quality than me (so we always employ a professional to do the job these days!): and that leads me on to the subject of this blog:
- Whenever we get feedback from managers and leaders in independent businesses, they often feel they have more to do than they can cope with
- They seem stressed, busy and not knowing which way to turn and what job to do next.
- In a nutshell: they have too much to do and too little time to do it in
Does this describe YOUR situation? It certainly describes mine when I was running my own business (and still does occasionally today!).
And it seems to me that the key to solving this (apart from taking out ‘Effective Time Management’ training, which will always help) is to know what NOT to do.
- To cut out the things you’re not very good at and either not do them at all, or to find others who can do them quicker, better and cheaper than you.
- AND – very importantly – to find a philosophy that you KNOW is common sense and stick to it: rejecting all ‘quick fix’ ideas and ‘last chance offers’ that are constantly bombarding you.
We can’t be good at everything, so we need to recognise what we’re best at and try as much as possible to focus our time and efforts on that.
Also we can’t DO everything, or access every ‘great idea’ (which rarely are that great) that people thrust in our way: we need to slow down, identify what direction we want to go, employ simple tools to keep us on the path and continually improving, and stick to them.
That’s why we put the ‘Slow Selling’ philosophy and processes together!
To illustrate the point, here’s a short list of things I’m not very good at:
- Painting & decorating (as you know)
- Being nice to people when I’m tired (so I try and have a strict bedtime routine)
- Flexibility & change (so I do a lot of self development and meditation)
- Social media (a constant source of time wasting and frustration – I would never advise a client on this, and I think there’s a lot of hot air and wasted effort in general in this area)
- Traditional ‘pushy’ selling (which is why I spent so long investigating the principles and systems of ‘Slow Selling’)
On the other hand, I think it’s fair to say, my strong points are:
- Seeing strategy, processes and behaviours from the customer’s point of view
- Setting up simple systems to cut through the crap
- Continual questioning and seeking improvement
And, of course, the ‘Slow Selling’ systems are based on these strengths.
But, enough of me: what can YOU do to cut down on wasted time, do less things each day and get better results. Here are 3 steps to help:
- Set up a weekly evaluation and step by step personal improvement system: we strongly recommend a system called ‘weekly compass planning’: so you have a SYSTEM to get you out of the rat race once a week and working on improving your response to the rat race! This is VITAL.
- Use this system to identify, one by one, what you’re not great at doing – so you can either cut this out completely or find another way to get it done – and what you ARE great at – so you can find ways of playing to your strengths more.
- Identify and study, step by step, a system, based on principles of common sense that you know you can stick to and you know will continually guide you into doing the ‘right’ (by which I mean: ‘effective in the long term’) thing. So you get peace of mind, certainty and the ability to reject all the crap that’s constantly thrown your way, and instead you’ll start attracting ideas and tools that’ll help you along the road for all the right reasons.
In conclusion: overwork, overload and stress are common problems for leaders and managers in independent businesses, but it needn’t be that way: there is a step by step, simple and reliable system to help you escape this prison and start to become much less stressed and more successful every week.
Remember: slow down and take one step at a time!
To listen to the Podcast on this subject, please click below:
To read a short independent account of the Edison story, please click here: https://steemit.com/education/@crazymumzysa/thomas-edison-the-influence-of-a-mother
To benefit from the free weekly top tips and ideas service, please click here.
(You’ll also get a free ebook – The 7 Deadly Sins of Sales – and 3 exclusive videos about how to grow business, build remarkable levels of customer reputation and outsmart bigger and better funded competition … continually … without sacrificing principles or profits).
Slow Selling is a UK based not for profit organisation for leaders and mangers in independent businesses.
Our systems deliver peace of mind and confidence to caring leaders and managers who have limited time and resources, want to do the right thing and grow their business … all without sacrificing principles or profits.
To find out more, please click here