01 February 2018

With proper control, you can still make something valuable out of complete mayhem

Whenever we look at other businesses, we tend to see only the successful side of the company. Normally we don’t realise how much struggle and chaos they go through behind their public façade. If you’re under the impression that some businesses came to be without any challenges or moments of disorder, then you need to snap back to reality. Even the most successful companies hit bumps on the road every now and then. The occasional chaos has always been part of the game of business.

But what separates the ones that survive from the ones that go down the drain?

Control. It’s about keeping yourself updated and informed of everything that’s going on in your business. Things may not always go as planned all the time, but maintaining control can prevent chaos from totally eating up the situation. Control is not established only during a chaos; a business owner must already have control even when everything is in order, so that when the crucial time comes, everything is still manageable.

Establish office management practices and stick to them

Routine tasks need routine procedures if you want to stay organised and keep things running efficiently.

Set up protocols for handling paperwork and office systems. Also, digital communications such as emails should be prioritised and acted upon immediately if possible or flagged for future action. This way, during a chaos, your team would not have dig up lost data and messages and frustrate themselves.

Set up clearly-defined responsibilities for each person or team

Good office management depends on people knowing who is responsible for what – it’s people who are accountable who get things done. Failing to clearly define roles is one of the most common reasons why teams struggle during a chaos. When each team member is crystal clear on their own responsibilities, it promotes accountability and makes crisis-control easier for everyone. It also creates a culture of teamwork and improves your team’s sense of purpose and motivation.

Records, records, records

Keeping records sounds like the easiest part of maintaining control. But you need to consider the need to keep those records both accessible and updated. It’s not just about filing and storage; it’s also about the way things are being recorded. Make sure the most important data are being systematically recorded for future use. Some information may seem useless, but still find a way to keep them without eating up space and effort.

Schedule the tedious work

For most business owners, it’s too easy to put off things that they don’t like doing. But the more you set aside things, the more you tend to forget about them. If you have too many things on your plate, make sure to have a workable schedule to deal with those items one by one. Learn the art of prioritising so you won’t end up pouring precious hours into something that’s not really for you to do.

Delegate and/or outsource

Speaking of doing things that aren’t your foremost responsibility, you need to learn how to entrust tasks to more capable (and free) hands. In a perfect world, everyone would only be doing what he or she had time to do and did well. As the world is not perfect, instead a lot of people are doing things that they don’t have the time or talent to do well.

Delegating and outsourcing can not only improve the way you gain control but also free you to focus on your main task as well, which is working on your business, thereby improving your bottom line.

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