There are always circumstances beyond your control. Coworkers who drop the ball. Suppliers who lose your order. Vendors who over-promise and under-deliver.
So you learn to control what you can.
What if you could manage better those who’s work you depend on? If you were given an idea to help keep your work on track and on time, would you take it? Or would you shrug it off as “that’s just the way it is?”
I’m remodeling my bathroom and love my tile guy. He’s fun, thoughtful, careful, creative and a good listener. He’s young in having his own business so he’s been interested in my suggestions on how to run his business better.
He came to finish his work — which is 2 weeks over schedule. It’s not directly his fault, but it is his fault in that he didn’t manage his vendors, resulting in their not delivering when he expected.
I started the conversation by asking if there was someone who could do administrative work for him, like making calls to suppliers to ensure their work would be done on time. He said he didn’t have anyone as he didn’t see the need.
“If you had someone to call the fabricator the week you knew you needed the part, then he wouldn’t forget about your order,” I explained. “Then we wouldn’t be 2 weeks overdue, so you’d have better cash flow.”
“That’s just what happens in construction. Things happen and you just work around them.”
I wanted to say, “But all delays don’t need to happen. You could have prevented all three of our delays if you’d been on the phone earlier to check in with the supplier.”
But I didn’t, as I’ve learned some folks don’t have an opening for seeing the world differently than they do. They don’t see that a little different process on their part would have a major impact on their customers’ satisfaction as well as their own cash flow.
Are there things in your business that you say, “That’s just the way our business is,” when really it could be different? Are you resigned because you don’t think you could do anything to change it, but you haven’t even tried?