I’ll bet that you read the title of this piece and immediately went into your childhood. You thought about sitting at your kitchen table – or about how you celebrated holidays, etc., etc. All of that is hugely important in who we become and what roads we choose in life. But in the business world, what I really want to know is: Where did you cut your chops. Where did you learn the SOP’s of day-to-day corporate life.
Why does that matter? Well, as a millionaire business mentor, I see all different types of business and entrepreneurs, and in coaching them to find financing and set up needle movers that will really MOVE them, knowing how to report is a huge piece of the puzzle.
I’m lucky. I grew up in the IT world. As creative as IT is, one of it’s more tangible aspects that it usually has is solid reporting. Think about the Bill Gates’ of the world – the Google’s. We’re talking highly accountable teams here. Yes, their people may often come to work in pajamas for all we know (or care), but they can tell you PRECISELY where they are in a project and why it matters to the overall goals of the corporation. If you come from the Fortune 1000 world, you have serious reporting for different reasons. On any given day in THAT world you’re scrutinized by everyone from your investors to Wall Street itself.
What does all this “reporting” mean in the real-world of building your OWN business? It means supported accountability to financiers. And if you’re not familiar with doing this, it is NOT easy to learn. In the world of speakers, authors, yoga instructors, and anyone else who’s building their empire in a more private type of business, it’s likely that you’re used to low reporting. But you know what low reporting equals? Low Reporting = Low Visibility. It’s hard to show your financiers where the money is.
If you turn that into an X-ray on your operations, you’re also likely to find that your team isn’t great at reporting EITHER. Why? Because you aren’t asking for it. Following that train down the track, the result of this is one thing, and one thing only: STRESS! You don’t know who on your team is doing what, how far along projects are, how things effect the big picture, and on and on. And it’s easy to be financially BLINDSIDED in that reality.
So now that I’ve thrown back the proverbial curtain – let’s talk about making a few adjustments. First of all, let everyone on your team know that things are changing. Then, implement a few good rules as you find your way. 1) Have (at least) a once-a-week conference call with ALL team members where you quickly cover ALL projects. This should not be an all-day affair. Just a quick update on status and issues. (You’ll be amazed at how helpful everyone becomes when they know where the hiccups are.) 2) Have a project manager take over the flow of big projects. Let everyone know that they are accountable to this person – no kidding. 3) You might consider using a project and time management program that everyone on your team can access. One that my team uses regularly is MyClientSpot.com (free trial – gotta love it). 4) Make sure that EVERYONE understands that deadlines aren’t guillotines, but they aren’t jokes either.
This type of systemization will allow for more productivity, more accountability, and more profit.
To your continued success!
Christine Comaford, CEO Freedom Fighter
NY Times Best Selling Author
CEO of Mighty Ventures, Inc.