Business Junk Drawer Items to Deal with NOW
Every business owner has a business “junk drawer.” A business junk drawer contains all of the tasks, chores, problems, issues, etc. that cause you worry, but you just don’t have the time to deal with, at the moment. Clunky invoicing systems, ways of addressing customer feedback or human relations issues may find spots in your junk drawer, among many other chores that nobody in your office likes doing.
But, as they sit in that “drawer,” the problems usually get bigger and bigger, eventually causing significant problems as they start affecting your bottom line. While some tasks can sit in limbo for a bit without hurting anything, others need to be dealt with NOW!
Take action on items related to:
Financial anything -- Whether it’s your invoicing system or your accounts payable processes, these functions are essential to the success of your business. Any tasks that directly affect your bottom line can’t stay in your business junk drawer. Leaving them there is like proverbially putting your head in the sand and just hoping that these issues will fix themselves. In the meanwhile, you are losing money or harming your business’s credit. Neither one is a good scenario. Address any issues that relate to money. Find out where the problems are and fix them. Even if it means dedicating some extra time to resolving the issues, it’s going to be worth it.
Customer service issues -- It’s never a good idea to ignore anything related to your customers or clients. Establish a way to respond to their feedback; utilize their comments and suggestions to improve your business; and ensure that customer service efforts are extended at all times. You can’t afford to abandon any tasks related to customer service, because satisfaction drives your business’s success. Burying customer service tasks or processes in your junk drawer will hurt the outcome of any other efforts. Take the time to deal with these issues.
Quality assurance problems -- Fulfillment, product quality and other issues involved with quality assurance strategies relate directly to customer service. And, just like customer service issues, quality assurance problems can’t stay buried in that drawer. Maintaining the quality of your product and ensuring that the integrity by which you fulfill customer orders is always intact is essential. Not only will it help you achieve customer service satisfaction, but maintaining your quality control will also assist your efforts to establish a positive reputation in the public market.
Tasks simply not getting done -- It happens. Maybe you’ve had an employee quit or you’ve transitioned a worker’s duties so that the task doesn’t fit the job description anymore. Or, sometimes, a new task arises that has nobody to tackle it. Whether it’s as simple as taking out the trash or recording daily income, it’s an important chore for somebody to do. Learn to delegate these uncompleted jobs to one of your employees. Categorize the task and apply it to the most appropriate person. However, don’t just dump a new task on someone; help them acquire any necessary tools or knowledge to adequately complete the chore.
Odds and ends tasks YOU pick up -- Your life is already busy enough. When you end up taking on additional tasks that don’t seem to fit in anybody else’s wheelhouse, you’re tacking on extra duties for yourself that you don’t really have time to deal with. Sure, finding someone to do them or budgeting the time to explain the chores may seem difficult. But, it will be worth it. Undoubtedly, these tasks will grow in magnitude, which means you will have less time to devote to your real duties if you don’t delegate these to someone else.
Email Clutter -- Every business owner should strive to clean out his or her inbox each day. Does that mean that every email will be tended to immediately? Of course, not! Does that mean that you will read every in-depth email that you receive in one day? No! But, this goal will help you sift through the messages that are truly important vs. the ones that hold no relevance to your daily activities. One of the first things you should do to start this process is to unsubscribe from email lists that you don't need. (Keep anything that you find daily value in...but, get rid of the rest.) Next, develop a system to deal with your emails you need to respond to. It might be a filing system or other designation that alerts you to respond at a later time. Finally, you’ll need a storage system for emails with valuable information. Some emails should be kept, but you need to get them out of your inbox. At the end of the day, clearing your inbox is not only rewarding, but it establishes a clean slate and priorities for the next day.
Personal things -- Because we sometimes just don’t have time to deal with all of the “stuff” life throws at us, personal things end up in our business junk drawers, too. Relationships we don’t make time for, things we should’ve said and didn’t or, even, appointments that we should make for our health get sidelined into this drawer. Take the time to address these issues for yourself. You will be a lot more productive when these other things aren’t distracting you. Take care of them and move forward with other important tasks.
The business junk drawer is a necessary evil in a lot of ways. But, as you tuck items away for later, it’s essential to deal with some of them now. Many of these tasks just need a simple once over to make them more efficient or easier. Clear Simple Business can help you get them under control.