2.5. Make Sure that You’re Getting Stuff Done

Assuming that you’ve found out what’s going on, have done your planning, created a great plan, and have told your team what you want them to be doing in a way that has left them enthusiastic and highly motivated to get on with implementing your ideas, you can just sit back and wait for the money to roll in, right? Wrong.


There’s many a slip between cup and lip and expecting everyone to understand exactly what you want done after one email, a solitary report, a single meeting, etc., is simply abdicating your responsibilities and is a sure fire way to failure. Whilst a single communique may be sufficient to tick a box, it will almost never be sufficient to ensure effective transmission of your plan. You will have to repeat the message a number of times. You’ll see this done here in the coming chapters. The same messages will crop up again and again because I am trying to sell certain management ideas to you, ideas that will help your business to survive the early years and go on to be successful.


Just think about it. Does Nike screen one advert a year? Does Apple Corp. content itself with telling you how great their products are just the once? No. These organisations market by repeating the message over and over again. Similarly, but to a much lesser degree, you must repeat what it is you want done, the way that you want it doing and why it is important, so that your business runs in the way that you want it to run.


Diagram 2.6: The Simplified Management Steering Wheel — making sure stuff is getting done

Another tool in your management toolbox is checking, and a very powerful tool it is. If you never get off your backside (metaphorically, perhaps) and check that things are going as you expect, then you are driving your business with your eyes (at least) half—closed. Think about it: will your team do a better or worse job if they know that you will be along later to check what’s happening? The answer is obvious.


Proactive management is good; reactive coping isn’t! Don’t wait to find out that something has gone awry. In order to give your business the best possible chances of survival, you have to be self—checking (see Chapter 5: Setting Up Your Dashboard). Police your system and ensure that you and your team are actually doing what it is that you think you are doing. Yes, I know that this seems like a lot of effort, but do you want your business to survive or not? In the early stages, you must be as attentive to your business as you would be to a new—born babe. Obviously, once you are happy that all is well, you can get someone else to keep an eye on things, but let’s ensure that we get to that point first, shall we?


There’s no point sitting happily behind your desk telling your financial advisor that things are going great when your team are struggling and you don’t even know it! If you don’t check that what you have spent so much time planning to do is getting done, then your ‘blissful ignorance’ will result in things failing and your customers complaining.


There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip

And why don’t we want customers complaining?


Well, you can make 99% of your customers happy and they may not tell a soul, but upset one of them and the chances are that they’ll decide to complain to someone. If you’re lucky, then it’ll be you, and you can do something about it. If you’re unlucky, then they’ll tell their family, their friends and their social media contacts. They’ll tweet about how dreadful you are and all of a sudden your reputation goes down the drain and your business fails. All because you found the world’s stickiest chair in your office and decided to sit on it, never to stand up again! Get up, get out of your office and get checking.