Our 7-step formula to improve productivity

Tick, tick, tick. This is the noise of time escaping us one second at a time. When the world is only speeding up, the ‘dinosaur ways’ of the past just won’t cut it anymore. Yes, you guessed it, productivity is the answer. What are you doing to adapt? Well, this is where I step in to share my 7-step formula to get things done fast.

Before I share this with you, I want to ask you a question. It’s one thing to get a lot done fast, but what exactly are you trying to do?

Step 1.

For starters, let’s just say ‘to stay a step ahead of your competitor’ because surely you want to ‘be the hunter’ not ‘be hunted’. To do this you need to answer five very basic questions about your business:

1. Who exactly is your customer? Where do they live? How much do they earn? Where do they ‘hang out’?

2. Who is your biggest competitor? How do they get customers and how do they look after them?

3. What are the results of your marketing? Your Return on Investment (ROI)?

4. Why should a customer buy from you instead of your competitor?

5. What plans do you have for the future of the business? Where do you see the business in 1-5 years time?

Talking with the number of trade business owners that we do around Australia, it’s surprising to see how many do not know the answer to these 5 questions. They are certainly ‘the hunted’ not the ‘hunter’. Armed with this information, you’re already far ahead of many tradies. Now, it’s time to take action with speed.

With the answers to these questions in mind…

Step 2.

Work on what is most profitable and most important to your business at the expense of other things. Yes, it means certain jobs will not get done, and that’s okay. I generally have about 6 ‘priority jobs’ on the go at one time. This is where the next step comes in handy.

Step 3.

Work on only one thing at a time. Although you have six top priority jobs to complete, work on only one at a time. Now only you can decide which of these top priority jobs makes it to the top of the list to be done first. Perhaps base it on length of time to complete? ROI?

Step 4.

Work like you’re heading on holidays tomorrow –with speed. It’s funny isn’t it how much you can get done in a week, or a day when you’re heading away and things just have to be done before you go. Imagine what you can get done when you work like this all the time!

Step 5.

Good is good enough. This one took me awhile to grasp, the perfectionist that I am. I swear it pays off, because believe me, perfection is overrated!

Step 6.

Work to deadlines. Nothing is more motivating than to complete a task ahead of schedule or at worst, to deadline. The feeling of accomplishment is very fulfilling. Ensure those around you are aware of the ticking clock too.

Step 7.

This is the most important step of all: to keep your eyes open to the ‘fast new economy’. To be a successful business person it is imperative that you see the dangers and the opportunities on the horizon so that you can quickly prepare for them and respond to them quickly and efficient, if you want and/or need to.

Make sure you jump in the boats with those moving with the current of change. With those that are ‘qualified’ to take you along for the ride, who have learnt their lessons ‘on the street’.

Because the rules have changed dramatically in the past few years – the old ways of doing business have been laid to rest and there’s a new breed on the block.

There is one thing we can all be thankful for: being a small/medium sized business owner, we can all be very flexible to change. We are adaptable and can implement change with speed. We only need to know what we are changing and have a big enough reason to do it!

Armed with this 7-step formula, no matter what you decide to do, you can do it – and fast.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.