Is Creating SOPs Worth the Effort?

Creating SOPsYou are running a small business. You diligently plan your sales, your finances, your resources and your marketing. And, you get things done. But, you are overlooking an integral area in your business as far as growth. You cannot scale your company unless you follow consistent processes by creating SOPs (standard operating procedures.)

It is important that your team know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. If your team can consistently repeat the same activities, you get better customer service, increased employee productivity, and better internal communication. You will retain your employees longer and will be able to attract better team members. It can even affect your branding if your team isn’t doing and saying the same things for your customers.

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Project Details Matter

Project Details MatterHow much do project details matter? Can you overcome small mistakes because of getting details wrong? If you dial into a conference call at 1pm EST rather than 1pm CST, you are likely to figure out that you’re early, right?

In most cases, you can make up for small mistakes. However, if Dan is the CEO of the business you’re selling to and you called Don at 3pm CST rather than 3pm PST on the 8th rather than the 6th? Well, now you’ve blown it.

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Managing Deadlines with Concise Communication

Managing Deadlines with Concise CommunicationsWhen managing deadlines, a project manager often tries to figure out why they will be missed on a large project only to discover that the designer couldn’t say “no” when a client asked for additional items without his knowledge.

How can you avoid this altruistic problem? It rarely results in goodwill from your clients, as they tend to forget these things when deadlines are missed. Rather, the client is frustrated, if not outright angry, while you try to explain that the end date will not be met. Regardless of your explanations for doing what he asked, he voices a reasonable concern that boils down to this: He didn’t understand what he asked would take longer or cost more.

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Structure, Schedule, and Systems for Productivity & Effectiveness

Structure, Schedule, and Systems = Productivity, Effectiveness.I know, it sounds boring, but I promise that structure, schedule, and systems will help you make the most of your efforts. There is something about consistency that is soothing. Plus, if you aren’t always thinking about what to do next or what you might be forgetting, your mind can be opened up to more creative thoughts. Continue reading

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Protected: The First Un-Episode with Susan Fennema [Audio]

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Work-life Balance Conference: Find Your Moose [Video]

I have the honor of sharing some of my work-life balance knowledge with independent software, design and marketing consultants, and with owners of consultant firms, at the first Find Your Moose conference in Chicago on October 28 and 29, 2015. Elusive Moose puts on the conference.

I will be participating in two sessions, described below. Additionally, there are many other conference sessions can help you get your work-life balance in check. Register by August 31, 2015, to take advantage of the early bird specials. Continue reading

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Protected: A Live Action Review with Susan Fennema [Audio]

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Protected: How to Complete a Value-Based Project with Susan Fennema [Audio]

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