If you’re similar to the business owners and managers I work with, you strive to keep your operations running as efficiently, smoothly and with as few interruptions to the flow of business as possible. As you endeavor to prevent or remove any blockages that limit your happiness and success as an entrepreneur, there are a number of key variables to keep in mind.
The different bottlenecks or barriers to business success that create blockages come in many forms: ineffective systems and procedures, poor customer service, inconsistent quality of products and team members who lack the skills and behaviors necessary to communicate effectively. There are also less than effective hiring practices, on-boarding and training; poor teamwork and low morale; and team members whose lack of desire and negative attitudes prevent them from performing at consistently high levels. These are just a few of the common blockages I work with owners and managers to identify and eliminate to drive business performance and success.
Are you aware of the internal variables that could be limiting your operations? If you’re not mindful of your company’s blockages, your lack of awareness will prevent you from addressing them at all. Is this really a viable option if you want your business to stand out in the marketplace? If you are aware of the blockages in your business, then you’re positioned to take the critical next step of understanding what they are, why they exist and how much they’re costing you in real terms.
To make more sense of how you can identify and eliminate potential blockages that will keep you from optimal levels of performance and success, let’s look at a few common culprits:
Communication: Ineffective communication is a primary, and often times leading, barrier in many businesses. For this reason, effective communication — communication that accurately conveys information, images, feelings and desires so that all parties are on a similar, if not the same, page — must be highly valued and strongly encouraged. Clear and specific communication allows people and systems to work together seamlessly for superior results.
Attitude: While skills can be taught to individuals who want to learn, attitude is a different beast all together. Although many team members are hired for their talents, it’s their attitudes and resulting behaviors that determine in the long run if they’re a blockage in your business. Team members might be qualified to perform their jobs at a high level. But if they bring a consistently negative attitude to the workplace, their performance will be poor and invariably disrupt your operations in multiple ways. Negativity and bad attitudes are a deadly virus you can’t allow to spread throughout your company.
Desire: A lack of desire means team members don’t care enough to deliver superior job performance. When people don’t care, they also lack commitment and loyalty and are less efficient and productive. These team members will consistently produce poor quality products and services, resulting in dissatisfied customers. Just one team member can negatively affect the overall positive efforts of an entire team. They have a dampening effect on team moral and damage the work environment. When an owner or manager tolerates this type of attitude, they lose credibility with the rest of the team.
Talents and skills: All members of a professional working team must possess the basic skills required to perform their jobs. If not, they’ll only take away from the smooth and efficient operations of the business. While a person lacking the necessary skills to do the job potentially could constitute a good hire, they must compensate for that with a strong desire to learn and grow. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time, effort and money to bring them on.
Think of blockages within your business in terms of a traffic jam. Progress and efficiency grinds to a halt. Frustration grows, tempers flare and everyone starts looking out for themselves. Errors increase, accidents occur and the blockage only grows worse. Once you are through the traffic jam, though, all of these things are reversed and there’s a feeling of relief and satisfaction as you’re freed to continue down the road to happiness and success.
Inaction in addressing the blockages to the flow of your business will only compound the situations curtailing your company’s overall performance. Explore your business to see what blockages to the smooth and efficient flow of your operations you can discover. Write them down and strongly consider hiring a qualified professional to assist you in eliminating the blockages in your business for good.