When the cat’s away, we all know what the mice do, but what do your staff do when you’re away? If yours is like most businesses, not a lot. Generally, they just go through the motions.
Why do the mice play when the cat is away? It is because there are no order or control systems in the barn if the cat is having a nap. The cat is the system. In its absence, the mice make their own rules and look after themselves. They pursue their own goals. While it might look like anarchy, there is still an element of self preservation. They would, for example, be careful not to disturb the cat’s slumber. When the cat awoke, they would return to their normal routine with the cat in control as if nothing had happened while it was asleep.
Does this sound like your business?
A client of mine who ran a membership business found after returning from a four week overseas holiday, not a single new sale was made. Sure the existing clients were looked after, but her staff actually claimed that there were no new enquiries during her absence, in spite of the fact that she had prominent advertising which generated a constant stream of leads, both before she left, and after she returned.
Like the cat, she was the system. When she was absent, none of her staff thought to disturb her on vacation to say they weren’t making any sales. Whenever she made contact from the other side of the world, she was assured that everything was fine. And of course things were fine. Her staff were having a holiday too!
At this point she realised that she was never going to have a business that ran without her without developing a Business Management System. Which included a robust sales pipeline.
Her staff were provided an Operations Manual with a complete documentation of her business systems along with reporting and performance measurement systems.
Her final step was to ensure that her staff were fully trained in the operation of these systems and were appraised on the basis of objective performance standards with appropriate rewards for excellence.
Now when the cat’s away, the cat can play!
Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.
Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success.
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