Posts tagged "blog"

Stop Doing That – And Get Growing

December 22nd, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Stop Doing That – And Get Growing”

In a previous blog post, I quoted Bob Newhart, “Stop it!” Sometimes we need to realize what we are doing and adjust some behaviors.

For small-business start-ups, it can be hard to imagine growth when you don’t have time to get everything done. It’s also hard to imagine taking on the expense of people to do the tedious things that eat up your day.

Growth can only happen if the vision of the company can be realized in the day-to- day operations. When all of the decision making and task completing fall to one person, chances are that sales will stagnate.

If you want to grow, it is wise to hire people to do the tasks you don’t want to do or are not very good at doing. The executive director of Homeward Animal Shelter took a year to convince the board to let her hire a full-time marketing person. This freed her and her staff to raise more money, care for more animals, and forward their mission.

Prosthetics, a 3-D printing company focused on printing inexpensive prosthetics for children, was founded by college engineering seniors who gained a wide following through social media. After two years, they realized they weren’t very good at sales. They brought on a sales director, which allowed the founders to do what they do best.

A great idea and a lot of passion can only take you so far. Surrounding yourself with competent people that understand the mission and vision of your company may provide the right catalyst for growth and success.

Tips

» If you don’t have the budget to hire a new employee, start with a consultant or service company to take those duties. Wax Eloquent can operate as your marketing department.

» Think about how to increase productivity when adding staff or consultants. The goal is to grow your business. The new hires must free up time for moneymaking efforts.

Can you See the Hidden Squid?

August 11th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 1 comment on “Can you See the Hidden Squid?”

Some SQUIDS (S=Safety issue, Q=Quality problem, U=Unusual situation, I=Income costing, or D= Delivery) are hard to see because we don’t own up to them. Or maybe other team members around us won’t own up to them.

Why don’t we see our mistakes? Pride. Complacency. Inattention to detail. The list could go on and on. Sometimes we even cover up our mistakes intentionally. How many times have I walked through the production area of our shop and seen a print job in the recycle bin? Didn’t know anything about that squid, but sure enough, somebody else did and “hid” it in the bin.

But I’m not talking about the mistakes we know about, and then won’t acknowledge. I’m talking about those squids that we don’t readily see. There is a whole class of squids that lurk in the dark shadows that we don’t even know are there.

Former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield famously said, “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

So, now we’re talking about “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns.”

I’ll give you a couple of examples.

Our multi-talented sign guy was on vacation. We are not adequately cross-trained in that department, so wouldn’t you know it, here comes a nice sign order. This order was a bit unusual in that it was more complicated than normal. But we had produced this very job many times before.

We simply weren’t ready. So, we jobbed out this job to a friendly sister company. We cleared a couple hundred dollars, when we normally would have cleared somewhere near six to seven hundred.

Some would say, “where’s the squid here?” We got the job, we farmed it out, the customer is happy…” what’s the harm; what’s the foul?”

On the surface, this is all true. But the hidden squid is in what we lost. We lost the opportunity to make a better profit. The team lost the opportunity to be challenged with a difficult job when our lead sign guy was out. Lost opportunities are hidden squids. They must be acknowledged and learned from.

So, what did we do going forward? We did write up the Squid; we did discuss what we would do differently.

The biggest takeaway from this squid was that we simply were not ready for anyone in a key role to take a vacation, get sick, or simply be away from the office for a few days for any personal reason. This is not healthy.

So, we have to cross train vigorously.

The problem with a hidden squid is that you might not even know what hit you. So, make sure you spend time looking for the hidden squids.

For more information contact us at (615) 893-4290 or info@waxfamilyprinting.com