Create More Time to Work On Your Business

By Mitch Evans
In February 19, 2013

As print shop owners, we all know we need to spend more time working on the business rather than in the business.  Unfortunately, most never figure out how to change their ways so they can actually do it.

Most of the time, we have excuses or rationalize why we get so involved in the nitty gritty or the day to day activity in our shops.  First off, accept the fact that you will have to spend some time work in your business.  Hopefully it is in sales rather than other areas but as a small business owner, there are times you just have to deal with the day to day.

Here are a few tips that should help you create more time:

  1. Never write up a job ticket – this is why we hire CSR’s.  Once you write up an order with your name or initials on it then you are responsible.
  2. Don’t answer the phone when it rings – again you should have other people in your company who answer the phone and not the owner.   Once you get involved in the call, you become responsible to help that client or prospect.
  3. Forward order or estimate requests that come into your personal email to a CSR.  Of course, you need to follow up with those requests to make sure your CSR responds in a timely manner.
  4. Don’t always give an immediate answer when an employee asks you a question.   A reply like “that’s a real good question – what do you think we should do?”  If you do this enough, you will find that your staff thinks more before coming to you or asks others for a solution.
  5. Change your work hours so they don’t match up with when you open and close for business.  if you arrive when you open at 8:30am – start your day at 7:30am but leave an hour earlier.  The purpose is to minimize the interruptions that happen during your open hours.
  6. Delegate more of what you do daily.  For example, I see print owners ordering the supplies – give this duty to a key employee  – set up a system where you just review what will be ordered but someone else will make the call or order on line.  Another example is not doing the estimating.  Many owners don’t want to relinquish control of estimating.  That’s OK, instead train someone else to do it and review all estimates they write up or ones over a certain dollar amount.

With all the extra time, you can then work on your business plans, marketing plans, review your financial performance and make plans on growing your business.

Mitch Evans

Graduate of Lehigh University with M.S. in Management Science. Began career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in NYC. Owned Print Tech in NJ for over 23 years - grew to $8mm printing company with 6 locations. Sold Print Tech and started print consulting in 2002. Specializes in M&A, strategic planning, sales & marketing strategies, digital printing, expanding into signage, executive coaching and peer group faciilation.

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