October 12, 2015

30 Day Small Business Cleanse: Day 9+10+11

It's pretty clear by now that Friday (and most of Saturday) was a bit of a disaster! We are back up and running however so now we'll try to catch up and get back on track!

Working on Friday's exercise, listing our strengths and weaknesses.
Friday: Make a list of your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Be honest and ruthless. Create an action plan to implement the changes you need.

Friday's exercise was a version of SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) often used to assess a business, it's resources and environment. It's a great way to understand your business and discover what you do well as well as where you could be improving.

This was a hard task to undertake, maybe one of the hardest we've worked on so far. It's really difficult to step away from your business in order to examine it objectively, or as objectively as possible. We were surprised at how easy it was to see all of the flaws or weaknesses but difficult to see our own strengths. It was a very valuable exercise, not only because it allowed us to isolate what we thought we were doing wrong, but because it showed us how easy it is to get caught in the failure trap, to see only where there is room for improvement rather than celebrating what you're also getting right.
L-R: working on Saturday's tasks, our workflow calendar, Herman Heidelberg.
Saturday: Try to think of 3 things that are holding your business back, and come up with two solutions or plans for each one.

We felt like this exercise really built on what we had worked on during Friday's task. By examining our weaknesses, we were able to ascertain where our business was doing well and where it needed more work. But most importantly, we were able to figure out what our weaknesses had in common. And these are what we see as the things that are holding our business back. By going through and working all of the steps of this cleanse, we're slowly working our way through issues we've always had as well as learning how to address new issues as they arise. Hopefully this will make us a stronger and more resilient company going forth.

Our composing table before the cleanup.
Sunday: Clean up and declutter your production space. Do the same for your shipping area if you have one!

It's always more challenging to declutter our production space than we think it'll be. We seem to have a tendency towards workspace creep, projects and materials slowly spread out until they cover all surfaces. This has gotten much worse since the baby made her appearance. It felt really good to go through and tidy things up, and we took the opportunity to get rid of a lot of things that we'd been holding onto for a while. We're very much looking forward to dropping off a few bags of stuff at Goodwill!

Today: Review your wholesale process. Come up with 3 ideas to streamline your process and begin implementing them.

No comments:

Post a Comment