by: Captain America
Part of a new series of blog posts from the Super Heroes on the LMN Support Team.
As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of any obstacles in your path that could impact future changes you need to make to your business. By identifying these obstacles ahead of time, you will be better prepared to help avoid and work through these challenges when they occur.
Habits – People avoid change because of the habits they have developed over a lifetime. People may think it is just easier to just keep things ‘as is’. Of course this is not always the case!
Attitudes – Looking at the glass half full is important. Having a positive attitude about your change is crucial as your staff will pick up on this. If they sense you’re not fully on board, they won’t be either!
Path of Least Resistance – People (like water) will follow the path of least resistance. Some people are just looking for the easiest solution to solve their problems rather than make the hard choice and apply the true solution.
Training – Some people might require more time to learn a new skill than others or perhaps different training methods. Make sure if you’re implementing a new system you consider this and provide different methods if needed. For example, some people prefer a hands-on approach where possible rather than reading the manual.
It is worth considering how potential changes can impact your workplace culture and if it will be a change for the better or worse. Maintaining a good workplace culture can be critical for keeping your employees happy and engaged which in turn can affect your productivity.
Processes are critical to enable a company’s employees to communicate using the same language, methods and paperwork so that predictable repeatable results can occur. Without processes in place, everyone would do what they want, when they want, on their own schedule, and using their own methods (chaos!). This also means staff would do what they like doing and never do tasks they don’t. Having processes in place can also help with training new employees, saving you time in the future. When introducing a change, having a process setup to support the change can help your staff ease in to the change by having more information on what’s expected of them.
As an example, having a process for your estimator’s setup in LMN can save you time when you hire a new sales rep. If you have templates and production rate calculator’s setup, even if your sales rep is new, by using those tools they will be sure they are including all relevant items in their estimates and using the correct production rate times to calculate their labor times.
For help setting up your procedures and processes check out this method called the 5S. Here is a document with more information and a sample checklist you could use for your Office. LMN Users can find these, and many others in the Systems Library!
Time and money can always be a challenge to change. Do you have the time to implement changes? Do you have the money to buy new equipment that will change how you can complete a job?
When deciding these things, remember to include opportunity costs and future savings. It might take time to implement, but will it save you time in the future that will make up for that? Will the equipment save you money on labor, offsetting its cost? These types of questions can play a major role in helping you decide if a particular change is worth it or not.
If you took a day off work to go to a concrete course it could cost you around $500. Plus, you have to consider how much you would lose on lost wage for the day. Now consider the opportunity cost that you’re a day behind on work instead of moving on to the next job. Now your real cost for that course could be around $2000.
However, if you learned a skill at the course that will save you $1,000.00 just three times per year then was it worth it? The answer is yes of course it was. The problem is most of us do not look at the intangible benefits of spending money to make money. Using our example, you would be ahead by $1,000 in the first year alone and $3,000 every year after that!
In summary, by being aware of these barriers to change you will be better prepared to handle them when the time comes and keep moving your business forward!