Your Business Resolution — Time For a Fresh Approach

business resolutionsFor many, January is the perfect time for a new start. Resolutions to go on a diet, exercise more, pay off debt, get a new job, and otherwise improve our lifestyles are as popular as ever. But, there’s another area where a fresh start can make a big difference — Your business.

The fact is, you’re probably so involved in the day-to-day running of your organization that you don’t take a step back and get a better perspective. When you’re able to step away for just a little while and look at things objectively, the chances are you can find some good stuff to improve in your business. Here’s how to go about it.

Step 1 — Set aside the time

Get some time in the diary in early January to remove yourself from everyday operations and allow yourself to review how you could improve how your business functions, policies, and procedures. Encourage your leadership team, key managers, and a selection of employees to be involved.  Not only is their input critical, it will also remove some of the burden off your shoulders.

Step 2 — Get out of the workplace

You can’t do this with distractions. Go offsite and have an away day where you can minimize the chance of interruptions and actually get some initiatives in place, bring key members of your team along with you.  Make it engaging, fun and ensure you have white boards to capture your ideas.  Take pictures so you can save the details of your discussion.

Step 3 — Identify the main areas you want to improve

Have an honest and open discussion with your team. Let everyone bring up the main pain points in the business. What’s unnecessarily complicated or difficult to do? What policies, procedures, or functions could be improved? You’ll want to keep the discussion constructive, but don’t leave anything off the table.

Step 4 — Categorize the problems

You’ll want to split the various issues into categories, for example:

  • People related — More training needed, new team setup, staff handbook updates etc.
  • Policy related — New and amended policies to make your workplace easier to do business in.
  • Procedure related — Changes to business processes, ways of doing things, and functionality.
  • Technology related — Issues with technology, hardware, software, etc.
  • Other — Any other issues that don’t fit neatly into the previous categories.

Step 5 — Brainstorm fixes

Once you’ve got your categories, see if any of the problems are related. After you’ve done that, go through and generate ideas on how to fix the various issues, especially your policies and procedures. Don’t consider any idea to be too outlandish.

Step 6 — Prioritize

Once you’ve got your ideas, prioritize the fixes. Deliver on ideas that are easy to implement and will have a good impact. Follow that up with the harder implementations that will still make a big difference. After that, carry out the changes that will still have an impact, even if it’s minor.

Step 7 — Give people accountability

Once you have a list of ideas, get people in your business to take ownership of them. Get project management in place to deliver on the ideas and fix the broken parts of your business. Then, get regular updates throughout the year on how things are going. Give your project managers the resources and people they need to make a positive change.

This can be a great way to incentivize and fire up your people to change their working environment. Whether it’s removing bottlenecks in a process, rewriting a policy, enhancing training for team members, improving hiring methods, or replacing old technology, small changes can have a big impact.

Carry this out every January, deliver on your changes, and you’ll have a beautifully functioning, sleek, and efficient operation in less time than you think.

Matt Bauer

Business Resolution

Home Insurance: Your Fall To-Do List

Home Insurance: Your Fall To-Do ListHome Insurance: Your Fall To-Do List

Fall is here and October is the perfect month to finish up on all those home improvement projects and to-do lists. Since summer is over and the kids are back in class, Zillow has provided some suggestions to your fall checklist (and an extra fall to-do tip about finding the best rate on your home insurance policy).

Fall Home Improvement Tip #1 – In the garden Add color to your garden. Maintaining your garden for fall may just be the important point to take from this post. By trimming back trees and bushes; not only will it reduce the amount of dead leaves on the ground, but it will help prevent any fire hazard which may occur, it will reduce the mess. Another important tip is to fertilize your lawn- it will provide your grass with the nutrients required for the winter.

Fall Home Improvement Tip #2 – Fall-seasonal jobs When fall rolls around, certain things should have to get done. Have your heating system serviced with a filter change. Basic heating maintenance will ensure you have a warm space once winter arrives. Drain the hot water heater and remove the sediment from the bottom of the tank.

Fall Home Improvement Tip #3 – Required Home maintenance Check the exterior of your home. Things such as worn shingles on the roof, leaks around skylights, vents, and chimneys can cause major headaches it not appropriately fixed. Areas to check for leaks include door and window frames, around heating units, and openings around drainpipes in bathrooms and kitchens. Lastly, clean out your gutters. Cleaning your gutters is one home improvement tips that will probably be the most disastrous if not taken care of.

Fall Home Improvement Tip #4 – How to organize your garage A Garage is not a synonym for storage space. It seems often enough that garages become the ideal spot for storage. Now is the time to restore order before winter so you can park your car somewhere warm. While cleaning out your garage, trash unnecessary items by indulging in a garage sale or donating it to charity.

Fall Home Improvement Tip #5 – Review your Homeowners Insurance Policy

The professionals at Sinclair have been our clients’ trusted agents for more than four decades, enabling homeowners to protect their biggest investment. Through the relationships we’ve developed with the finest insurance companies in the nation, we can custom-build a home insurance policy for your property.