How One Person Can Do the Work of Four

How One Person Can Do the Work of Four

Over the past few months, you’ve heard me rant and rail about the importance of process. I’ve talked about the importance and necessity to have such processes as:

A clearly defined sales process
A clearly defined retention process
A process for the first time a customer walks into your business
A process for handling phone calls when the receptionists don’t have all the answers
A referral process
A process for the marketing that goes out, without fail, regularly and consistently (Where’s your Tuesday Tidbit??)
You get the idea…

But recently I saw something that got me thinking.

Last summer we were working with a contractor to have a dock rebuilt on the shoreline of Lake Erie. The day had come when it was time to remove the old steel and position brand new, massive steel beams into place. Some of these beams were over 20ft long weighing more than 600-700 pounds.

When I asked John what time his team would be arriving to lend a hand, he said, “There’s no team today. It’s just me.”

How he expected to move the steel was beyond me. But I was shocked and surprised when I saw just how easily he was able to do it.

He was able to make the beam look and move into position like a weightless feather. Here’s how he did it.

He took a measurement and marked the middle of the beam.

Then he crouched down, attached a clamp to the end, and with all his might barely lifted one end just enough to slide another piece of steel under it.

Next, he slid under a car jack and started to raise the steel. Finally, he positioned a hand-made contraption including a steel clamp and wheel to where he had initially marked the center of the beam.

Now here’s the best part.

He knew I was watching in amazement, and John was a bit of a character. He decided to embellish the moment and roll the beam down the dock with a single pinky finger, looking back at me the entire time.

When I asked John about it, he told me that he had developed this process after countless times of doing it the wrong way. Dozens of more tedious, cumbersome and ineffective attempts led to the development of a simple process to make the task consistently simple.

All of the processes I suggest, implement and execute with my clients are focused on the concept of simplicity.

Business is simple. People often complicate it.

The dock guy could have had three or four guys come and try to move the heavy steel beam, but because he understood the mechanics of his trade, he was able to create and perfect a simple process that made it incredibly easy for him to do on his own.

Many organizations could do something similar–instead of merely throwing people and resources at a problem. Instead, they could take the time to understand the problem and find a more efficient solution. More often than not, that starts with simple processes.

Our Pick-3 process is a simple process that drives revenue growth in ANY company of ANY size. It can be used for sales, marketing OR customer service.

A sales process doesn’t need to be longer than 3-4 steps in most cases (but your people have to follow it.)

The lack of a quote follow-up process doesn’t need to be solved with an $870,000 ERP solution, but sometimes all it requires is a single piece of paper.

A decision-making process can help organizations avoid hours of debate and rambling meetings.

“The enemy of the good is the best.”

Waiting for the perfect situation before acting means passing on a lot of good situations.

Let’s remember the wise words of General Patton: “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

Nine times out of ten, keeping it simple and taking action will produce WAY better results than overthinking and procrastinating.

Your Challenge For This Week:

Share a current business challenge with me.

Where do you need, or could you benefit from a better process? Sales, marketing, service, or retention?

Are you struggling to find consensus on a decision? If so, you need to try utilizing a good decision-making process (shameless, but a good consultant can help you!)

Do you have clearly defined processes for the most important areas of your business?

If not, I can help.