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How to Recognize When Your Business isn’t Operating at Full Capacity

The ball fell, the calendar turned, and here we are in 2022. Let us be the first to congratulate you on successfully navigating a(nother) tumultuous year that was likely impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the work isn’t over—in fact, in many ways, it’s just beginning. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to reflect on the last year and identify how (and where) you can improve in 2022. 

This time next year, we’d all like our businesses to be stronger than they are right now—and you can get a head start by paying close attention to what we’re talking about in today’s blog post. Here are a couple of ways to help you recognize when your business isn’t operating at full capacity and what to do about it.

 

You continue to operate in silos

If your business is still operating in silos, it’s time for an operational adjustment. Research has repeatedly shown that collaboration can have a significant impact on both employee and company performance. One study showed that collaboration empowered employees to work longer, harder and drove engagement, while another found that companies promoting collaborative working were five times as likely to be high performers.

Why does this happen? One could point to any number of reasons, but two of the most significant are the efficiencies gained and the sense of camaraderie felt by employees when working together. Look for ways where you can either cross-train employees or merge functions to boost output across the board.

 

You struggle to make decisions

Analysis paralysis, the term used when the fear of making a decision either clouds your judgment or prevents you from doing so, is a real thing. And an inability to make decisions is a problem that can plague any business owner. Play things too safe, and you risk missing out on what could catapult the business to new heights. Act too aggressively, and the wrong decision could torpedo everything you’ve built.

It’s always in a business owner’s best interests to surround themselves with people they trust and whom they can turn to when it comes time to make the big decisions. For some, that means a trusted inner circle of employees. For others, it’s an operations consultant who can help to optimize the business. In any event, what’s important to remember is that you don’t have to make decisions on your own.

 

You aren’t continually improving

Maybe 2021 didn’t go exactly how you planned, and you need a comeback year. Or, maybe it did, and you had a record year. In either case, moving forward full steam without a plan to continually improve is a fool’s errand. However, don’t confuse a quest for continual improvement with perpetual changes. We aren’t saying that you need to repeatedly alter the course of your business throughout the year, but you should always be evaluating and monitoring those areas that are ripe for change. The iterative method is a good one to adopt to ensure this always happens.

With the iterative method, a process or system is developed through repeated cycles completed in small sprints. After execution of each sprint, the process is analyzed and repeated with the insights gleaned through that analysis. If 2020 was a down year for you, this methodology can help your company rebound quickly with the right amount of effort.

 

You aren’t willing to adapt or change

This one works in lockstep with continual learning because if you aren’t willing to do anything about what you’ve learned, what’s the point of exploring it? In addition, your role as a business owner should have you always looking ahead at trends in the industry, technology, and consumer behaviors that might affect your bottom line. 

When something no longer works, you can’t be afraid to pivot. The most successful people in your position take calculated risks based on both research and intuition.

 

Operations consulting can help in all these areas

Eunice J. Clarke is a top-tier operations consultant who can guide you in finding the best way to create and sustain a successful business firing on all cylinders. Our team will work with you to audit your business and team’s performance to identify where your focus should be—and if you’re guilty of any of the points we mentioned above. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to chat. Contact us today.

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