I remember my first Big Boy job…I was interning at my uncle’s Marketing Agency in Connecticut. I spent all this time studying marketing in college and I figured, “Ok if this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, I might as well go test it out to make sure for a summer!”
So off I went on my 14-hour drive to see if I could cut it in the business world. Let me tell you right now…I was woefully unprepared!!!
I remember sitting in staff meetings with no note pad or way of remembering all the things I had to do for the week. I’d scribble something on a post-it note here or there and then go back to try to figure out what I was doing. I’d forego recording future meetings and due dates on any type of calendar because it was “too restrictive” and thought I honestly had it.
And here’s the thing…I did have it…for a couple of weeks. But as the work started to pile up and the graveyard of dropped spinning plates started to pile up around me I realized my “system” or lack thereof wasn’t working. I needed something to keep me on track and as time started to slip away I realized I needed structure around me to help me thrive.
What I’ve realized in coaching 10-12 businesses is that I’m not the only one living this way. Most business owners simply respond to the threat in front of them all day every day. Their schedule is nothing more than going from one fire to the next until it’s time to go home for dinner at night.
But that’s NOT how you build a successful business. You might be able to make it work for a few weeks, months, maybe even a year! But what I’m seeing lived out in front of me is that business owners and key leaders who tell their week what it’s going to look like, are the ones who actually build something they’re proud of. The ones who sit down and plan it all out instead of getting distracted by the problems at hand.
If you’re looking for more resources to work ON your business, we have them.
Let me tell you about the BOP solution to this…we call it…drumroll please, the “Master weekly schedule!” Boom…now if that name doesn’t get you excited I don’t know what will! I’m kidding, but seriously it is what you need. All of you. Why? Because it keeps you on track to accomplish the things you want to accomplish instead of just being blown about by the winds of chaos every single day.
So what does it look like? Well, here’s a picture of my Weekly Schedule. Blocks of 30 min for the entire week. Split up into specific tasks each week for admin, sales, marketing, and coaching. I’ve got time for sales lunches and recording these videos, I have time built in for professional development and team meetings. It’s all here. I don’t let chaos pull me from this for a second! But it keeps me locked in on the things I need to be focused on to grow my business.
So what are the things that pull you off track? Is it sitting on a job site for too long? You look up and it’s 2 o clock and you haven’t finished your estimates or answered emails or called back your voicemails? Well, then you need to use the weekly schedule to tell yourself how long you want to be on the job! As soon as that time is up, you need to be moving again!
E-mail! Gah, you’ll notice on my weekly schedule I have 2, 30-minute blocks for email. I took it off my phone, so I don’t even know if I have an email until I look back at it during my email block in the afternoon. Now here, some of you are thinking I’m crazy…but here’s what I’ve found with email. The more you answer it, the more people want you to answer it. But half the time when it’s been 2 hours without me answering, I see that people are smart and they answer their own questions half the time!
Same thing with talking to your team. What if you set up a 30 min check-in time with your admin or your Superintendent or your Project manager. If you looked at them and told them, we will touch base every afternoon at 1 pm. That’s your slot to ask me all the questions you need to ask. Because what happens all day? You’re locked in working and the phone rings, It takes you 5-10 min to answer the phone call, then another 5-10 min to lock back in on your task…but then bang another call comes in and you never finish what you were doing!
STOP it!!! Set a time for your crew to check in with you…where you can be fully present with them and then let them do their job. If you’re thinking that CAN’T happen, then you need to train them better to do their job so you can do yours of actually running the business.
This stuff is not rocket science, but it can give your business the jet fuel it needs to take off and get where you want it to go! I know, because I’ve built this out with business owners who are sick and tired of living in chaos! Now, it’s work to implement it. It doesn’t just happen! Chaos doesn’t like to leave you alone for long. But when you build the system to deal with it and put it in its proper place…you can have the freedom to work ON your business!
That’s what it takes. The Master Weekly Schedule…jump on it and let me know if I can help.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Scott Beebe is the founder of Business On Purpose, author of Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters. Scott also hosts The Business On Purpose Podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com.