A business that can’t operate without its owner is a business with a deadline.

You know this, and you think you have the right project manager or operations person to take over for you, but you are just unable to let go of certain decisions and responsibilities until the person doing the work learns the ropes. But where to start?

Or perhaps you do have a small operations team already in place, but your small business operations are in need of an overhaul otherwise your business will struggle under the weight of growth.  But what should you focus on?

Here are the 5 biggest issues to watch out for when you are trying to build an organized approach to running operations in your business:

  1.    The day to day of your operations does not match your business goals.

If you have no business plan, you risk a lack of strategic focus and direction. You will keep chasing the latest shiny big trend you learned about at the last conference you attended and you’ll have your team always chasing a moving target. A team with unclear priorities can tear your business apart and send it down the tubes.

On the other hand, you may have clearly defined goals, vision, core values, etc. but if your team does not know about them or they don’t know how to align their daily responsibilities with your business strategy, they will do a poor job at making sure that they are working on activities that will drive your business forward.

A great operations team extends the values, vision, mission, and plan throughout the company, aligning the company and accelerating its growth.

  1.    Your sales are high and your team is delivering, but revenue is stagnating

Your business may be losing money and you don’t even know it. You may be charging a nice price for your product or service, but that does not mean you are making money out of it.  You need to make sure that the projects you are working on are worth your while.

How do you know if projects will be profitable? If you fail to understand how the effort of your team, extended rounds of revisions or missed deadlines translate into costs, or you are not tracking the hours of the freelancers you are hiring, then it’s very likely your projects are not profitable.

Tracking and benchmarking your internal and external costs can help you make strategic decisions regarding which are the projects your operations should be focusing on and which are the ones you should stop. It will also help you understand which are your most profitable services.

  1.    All your efforts to take your business to the next level are going up in smoke

You may be too busy to set up systems, your team may even be reluctant to implement them, but without them, your deadlines are going to come and go by, and you will be left wondering how did time pass out so quickly?  Without an organizational structure, your business is doomed to fail.

Start simple just by capturing the actual, everyday know-how of your business in a searchable, accessible, and editable way. Who is handling which task? How many resources are working on which part of the project? How to track the progress made in the project? How to share project scope with everyone in the team?

The more efficient your operations are; the more revenues you can expect coming in.

  1.    Your team just can’t seem to meet any deadline

Your team is doing everything that your client is telling them to do and they are always busy, but deadlines are constantly slipping. But you can’t hire more people if you are barely making enough money for the payroll.

Not tracking changes in requirements from the client, extra requests or indecision will lead inefficiencies, redundancies, and lost time that can wreak havoc on the successful operations of your business. You and your team may find yourselves working too many unpaid hours just because the scope was not clearly established early on.

Implementing project management principles will help improve project efficiency, planning, and outcomes.

  1.    Your team is frustrated, makes more mistakes and no one knows what’s expected of them

As your business grows and you get busier, the flow of information isn’t always smooth and seamless. This opens the door to misinformation, rumor, and innuendo that often results in poor morale and strained relationships, or even missed opportunities and lost profits. Too many emails get ignored and messages just fall through.

In a stressful environment like this, it is no surprise that employee engagement can take a serious hit. Your team won’t be able to perform properly, let alone help you grow your business.

Maintaining clear lines of communication is one of the best ways to build a committed team and a thriving business.

Are you looking to revamp your operations? Or perhaps you run a successful business, but you know that without you in the center it couldn’t function? You may want to check our latest initiative: GliderPath Business Manager is the only tool for small business owners that allows you to truly scale and grow your business while reducing its reliance on you!

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