Method Management Is Needed In Your Business. Here’s Why:
It’s a New Year. Emoticon withheld.
Over the past year, I shared several different methods that I used in my own large franchised business so your business might run more smoothly and profitably. I hope you extracted a few nuggets that were easily applied and with great success.
My New Year Resolution: I resolve to keep my columns straightforward with actionable suggestions for you to easily adapt and apply to your business. My only ‘ask’ is for your feedback as we go through the year. I’ll keep it funny ‘ha-ha’ not funny ‘weird.’ I won’t bug you. No strings attached. I’m writing a book and this helps me. See, it’s really about me; me and my desire to help you. Let’s roll.
Last year, we covered “Meetings Aren’t Sexy, but Accountability Is,” “How to Maintain a True Competitive Advantage,” “Client & Staff Loyalty: More than Random Acts of Appreciation,” and a few others as well. This link will get you to the previous articles (https://christywilsondelk.com//knowledge/).
These topics exemplify Method Management as a process driven management style. It’s ideal for small business owners because we have to wear so many hats. It sometimes takes a heroic effort just to stay focused, let alone make actual progress and by progress – I mean M-O-N-E-Y.
Method Management makes managing easier by keeping your business flowing. It gets and keeps your staff on track while you do what business owners should do: Lead, engage, and innovate to effect change and growth for your business. And by that I mean make M-O-N-E-Y.
As a 15-year franchisee with 50 employees in 3 locations, I had many opportunities to apply Method Management. I used it because it worked. By strategically layering methods and programs to address client and staff loyalty, community engagement, and all of the other ‘softer’ but critical parts of sustaining and growing your business – you can create time and energy (the White Zone) to do what only you can do best.
Without critical White Zone time in your month, you can’t engage with the community, plan a new campaign or assess new competitors. You can’t plan a loyalty program, find a better General Manager or consider buying a third unit. White zone time is vital for staying relevant and profitable. Method Management is what gets you there.
Last night I read an article in Franchise Times – Jan 2016, about Freshii CEO Mathew Corrin. Corrin is growing his restaurant business at an incredible rate. He started franchising in 2008 and now has over 200 stores in 15 countries with plans to double by 2016.
Corrin’s strategy? With an eye to millennial franchisees and customers, he makes sure he adds new menu items regularly. He combs the country for healthy, trendy and unique menu items as he goes about his business attending to owners and growing new franchises.
This is a brilliant way for a leader to keep his highly competitive food industry franchise on the fast track. Corrin’s method and process are his own, but without White Zone time, he wouldn’t be able to invest the innovation time required to implement his strategy. It simply wouldn’t work.
Here’s your Planning for Success Challenge for 2016:
Step 1 – Identify three to five areas of your business that either need improvement or need a process to address a need. Brainstorm this by taking a mental journey through your typical month or better – a full quarter. What keeps you from growing? What steals your time? And, if you had that time, what would you do with it? Include everything from client communication, community engagement, evaluating the competition, adding an employee survey to vendor contract evaluations. Go long and wide. Share your notes with your second in command for oversight and validation.
Step 2 – Next, add the really hard thing that you’ve been putting off. Perhaps it’s increasing security for theft or safety reasons, which may mean adding cameras or a drug screening requirement. Maybe it’s a new compensation structure. Putting off doing something that is going to cost money or is difficult to communicate and implement is something we business owners are good at. Put it on the list. Improving your business internally is as important as adding a new item to your menu or service offering for your clients.
Step 3 – In your kick-off meeting (see Meetings Aren’t Sexy article) discuss and gain consensus on the list and the order. Choose an easy one to start with unless there is a clear priority. Then calendar them – one every two months, and own it. You can kick this off as late as February or March.
Step 4 – Time to work. Assign a leader (it may be you) for each topic and meet one on one to discuss your ideas, confirm their understanding and finalize the start and end month. Be open to changing leadership assignments as needed. Commit the time if you are the leader.
Method Management works for all types of businesses and industries. It requires discipline and patience before it becomes habitual. A follow-up component is critical to ensure your staff knows it’s business, not as usual.
It’s a deceptively simple concept that can positively impact every area of your business. And by positively impact, I mean make more M-O-N-E-Y.