Troubleshooting Your Business-Part Two

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Hiring a Troubleshooter is getting a Fresh Pair of

eyes to see what is really happening in your business.

What passes you as ‘normal’ might be picked up by

Fresh Eyes.  Especially, time wasting.

Employees should not be on the phone,

(yours or their own).

Paying for the call is not the issue, not working

while being on the call is the issue.

The most prestigious consultancy firms which assist

major businesses in downsizing actually start with

the phone test.

Moving from area to area they mark which employees

are on the phone.  They return to that area a few

hours later.

Those caught twice are circled as first firings.

Often this is all a company needs to become efficient.

This may sound ridiculous but if you work among

others, just take a note of who is ‘always’ on

the phone, (I am not writing about call centres

or those whose business requires constant calling,

obviously, I am indicating personal calls.)

They don’t do very much work, do they?

Employees who allow their personal lives to wash

up on the shores of their employment have very

little ‘business ethic’.

They can not recognise they have sold a number of

hours a day to engage in work.  To them, sitting

in their livingrooms or your office is the same

thing.  If this is their mind set, (evidenced by

their telephonic behaviour) then does it not

follow this is their mindset in other areas; i.e.

company property?  Deadlines? Production?

Along with the personal phone call is the use of

a computer for personal business. Yahoo messenger

should not be on your computer unless it is used

by your business to keep in touch with clients

or employees.

There should be no games on any computer.

Have the IT manager do a scrub of computers on

a non-working day or time.

Those computers found with games prove that the

employee is not working but playing, and this

is not the play ground.

Another major area of investigation is what makes

money and what doesn’t.

Once workers have to dust goods that means

the goods have been there quite some time.

Consider goods as ‘dead’ money.  The longer they

sit on the shelves, the more they ‘decompose’.

Once you notice nothing seems to be moving in a section,

put it on sale.  You’ve already lost whatever you paid

for it once your accounting period passes, so virtually

giving it away, hoping someone will buy something else

is a way to make space for a more popular items.

The idea that you have spent $ on it and will not sell

it for less than $+1 means you might as well take it

home as it’s yours.

Create your own agenda as to how long each item should

spend waiting for a home.  Once that time is passed,

reduce prices and get it out of the store.

Often loss leaders attract customers which has a

knock on effect. A customer might come for this

item, pick up another.

Sometimes, giving these items away as free gifts,

or buy one get one free is a way to get rid of


Customer Service is your main product.  Surly staff,

or those with attitudes are fires without insurance.

They destroy your business.

Make sure you have ‘shoppers’ investigating your

business at least twice a month.

‘Shoppers’ can be professionals, friends, anyone who

can get the experience of what it is like to be a

customer or client.

Take what they say very seriously.

Giving ‘chances’ to an offending employee means you

are selling lottery tickets. You don’t know how many

customers you have lost or will lose with this employee.

Everyone who meets the public must be the kind of person

who can. Forget test scores and experience, one friendly

warm clerk is your best advertisement.  People come where

they feel welcome.

Anyone can walk into any business, once.

To get them to return is your goal.

Good quality is one way, but sure fire is excellent

customer service.  Price is only one consideration.

Most people will pay more to be treated well than

less to be treated like annoyances.

Keep that in the front of your mind.


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