Updated: May 24
What is this article about?
This blog post will look deeply at different perspectives and how these views can help you manage problems, find the right solutions, and organize your chaos. We will look at
Aspects related to your products or services
Topics concerning the company management
If you are interested in one of these topics, use the links to hop directly to that section.
How to get an overview of your chaos and manage problems?
Ok. You are here because your company is not running smoothly in one place or another.
Don't worry; everyone has strengths and weaknesses, which is why I wrote the article.
The important thing is that you first get an overview of the topics going well and the issues you want to improve.
Call us if you notice or maybe already know that you can't do it alone. GRIFFOX will support you in all parts of the process like the analysis, finding the best strategy, and developing an actionable plan. We have experience with hundreds of projects and are happy to help you.
Back to the topic. You can get an overview by first writing down all your company's issues.
The organization is always work, but it is worth it.
So, make a list of all the topics that are going on in your company. Procurement, production, sales, warehousing, employees, salaries, taxes, customer reviews, finances, organization.
In this context, always make sure that you make subdivisions to help you evaluate the subject better. If you divide topics too roughly, for example, finances, you can easily overlook some essential topics.
What monthly payments do you have to make?
What is your cash flow?
What are your income and expenses?
What are your costs in particular areas?
If you use too rough a breakdown for these questions, or if your money is spread over too many different accounts, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. So, it is always essential to consider your situation and to perform your company-specific analysis.
How to prioritize the different topics?
Once you've created your analysis, it's important to prioritize each topic.
You can use this basic scheme as a guideline, as it suits most companies.
Depending on the type of company, you will quickly notice that the individual aspects impact the others, or in many cases, they cannot be separated from each other.
Your revenues are, in most cases, generated directly by your customers. So, you can't separate this topic from the topic of finance because your customers influence your finances.
If your processes are not optimized, this will affect the satisfaction of your customers, which in turn will affect your financial situation.
Despite these linkages, it's important to get your finances right first. If this is not the case, you have an existential problem. You can usually optimize a destructive process relatively quickly.
So, in principle, follow this scheme and always according to your circumstances.
This helps you to prioritize the topics and to optimize your company in a targeted manner.
What tools should you use to create your overview?
There are many different tools you can use to create an overview.
In my opinion, spreadsheet tools such as Excel, Numbers, or Google Sheets are the best for the initial recording of the topics. The advantage they offer is, on the one hand, the simplicity of using them and, on the other hand, the possibility to perform later analysis.
For example, if you use software like MS Word or Notes, you will often have to transfer the data you entered into other programs. Word processing programs are, unfortunately only, very limited and very cumbersome to use for calculations and analyses.
Therefore, you should always use software from the beginning to further analyze your data as you go along.
Now that we have exchanged views on some topics of a fundamental nature let's look at the individual topics.
As I have already outlined, financial issues are fundamental to your business.
Financial aspects cover a wide range of factors. Costs for purchasing, production, your employees, income from the sales of your products and services, ROI and profit, but also questions about optimizing your expense structure, operating costs, or whether buying or renting a building makes more sense.
Financial questions are, therefore, of existential importance and should be carefully thought through in many cases. For example, it does not make a good impression on the customer if the price of your products or services changes several times in a short period.
However, questions about pricing always depend on the quality and uniqueness of your products. If you have a unique position in your region and no other company offers your products or services, then you can set prices differently than if you have many competitors.
Reducing costs can also significantly impact a company's financial success. It is always
important to see what effect the savings will have and whether the customer will notice them. If savings harm your products or services, you should consider whether this makes sense.
If your finances do not make sense and you do not have an overview of your finances, always start by listing your income and expenses separately and then divide them into categories. Use categories that are clear and understandable to you and that you know you will have considerable costs per year in each category.
Then go through the personal expenses and always ask yourself whether they are necessary and whether obtaining them in the same or better quality at a lower price is possible. Examine your salary to determine if it is enough to pay for your expenses.
If you go through these steps, you should quickly determine which areas are doing well and where improvements can be made.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please get in touch with us.
Aspects related to your products or services
Let's look at your products and services.
What products/services do you offer?
Which ones are in demand by customers?
Are all products/services of the same quality?
In which products/services do you have to put effort to keep them at a high-quality level?
Do you have products/services that are not or hardly demanded by customers?
Product management is an essential aspect of running a profitable business. Product management deals with the entire product life cycle, from planning, development, and sales to discontinuing the product if it no longer sells.
Product management is highly underestimated in many companies.
However, companies need to have clarity about the current market and trends. This enables them to react early to market changes and adapt their offers to customer demand.
We help you set up product management that fits your needs and your company size and make it easy for you to track your products' development and product life cycle.
Your relationships with your customers are significant to having a successful business.
How do you currently rate the relationships with your customers?
How good or bad are your ratings on Google or other rating portals?
What do you do when you see that customers have rated you well or poorly on Google?
What customer loyalty measures have you initiated to increase customer loyalty?
You can take a wide range of actions to increase customer loyalty. These include coupons, discounts, and loyalty campaigns, of course, but also ratings on Internet portals such as Google or even conducting customer satisfaction surveys.
Increasing customer satisfaction can help you improve your business's success in many ways. Satisfied customers will usually return to you repeatedly and buy your products and services. Satisfied customers are brand ambassadors; they typically tell you about your products when friends or family members ask them. Happy customers also help you improve and optimize your products, as you can usually easily ask them for feedback.
But how can you use dissatisfied customers to optimize your business and products?
When customers are dissatisfied with your business or products, there is usually a reason or specific trigger.
Dissatisfaction arises from disappointment related to a specific feature of your products or services. If customers have been using your products for a long time, they will usually overlook minor problems. If these problems occur regularly, you can assume you will lose customers.
Poor service, for example, in a restaurant, usually leads to a reduction in tips. However, the poor service may be overlooked if the food has been excellent. However, if the service remains at the same level on recurring visits, you can assume you are losing your customer.
What measures can be taken to evaluate the quality of your products or services?
One possible way is mystery shopping. For example, you can ask our company to test your products or services anonymously. We will do this professionally, provide you with a detailed report, and give you recommendations.
Based on this report, you can then take measures to help you optimize your products and services.
Other possibilities are, for example, customer interviews, customer conferences, or asking customers via online surveys. There are many ways to improve your customer relations. We are happy to support you in planning and implementing the various measures.
Chaotic conditions in companies are often based on incorrect planning in the organization. Individual teams and departments are overstaffed. Other groups are understaffed. Instead of analyzing the necessary employee capacities, even if only by critically examining the individual work quotas, it is often just said that the employees should work faster or do more.
I am sorry, but this has nothing to do with organizing a company or an organized work environment.
I am convinced that different employees have different strength profiles and that this also influences how much work they can do daily. But if we think critically about this, it means that employees are deployed in a strength-oriented manner.
This is an entirely different process than having employees do extra work. An employee who does a poor job or whose workload does not meet the average also does poor extra work.
Other measures are required here, such as a problem analysis to understand where the employee's problem lies or the use of training or coaching measures.
Organizational problems can also arise because employees do not have the necessary skills, competencies, and responsibilities. If specific tasks are assigned to only one person, and that person falls ill, do you seriously leave the functions until the person is back at some point?
Organizational issues must always be dealt with individually since every company has different initial situations. In addition, there are usually differences in the corporate culture, which will also impact the processes in the companies.
Finally, the executives in each company are also different. All have different backgrounds, and all have different strengths and weaknesses. These aspects always have an impact on the company organization.
Organizational aspects can also arise at the process level, as exactly how a process is organized.
Which work steps are carried out at the beginning, and which afterward?
If processes are not optimized, this always leads to tasks being performed inefficiently.
Efficiency should always be an essential building block for business success. However, care must always be taken to ensure that efficiency is not achieved at the expense of customer satisfaction.
In the previous paragraph, I already mentioned that problematic situations could arise from your employees.
That is, of course, annoying, but it is also human.
You should always ask yourself how you deal with problems caused by your employees. Do you overlook problems, address problems, sanction problems by firing employees, or what course of action do you take?
Companies deal with this issue differently, also reflected in their corporate culture. So, you should always pay attention to the external impact of your chosen approach.
When you experience chaotic situations caused by your employees, I think it is always best to stay calm, analyze the status quo, and evaluate the situation.
It is okay to act differently in different situations if you can justify your behavior. Employees will not usually make mistakes intentionally, so it is good to establish a constructive error culture.
This will help you create a trusting relationship with your employees, which usually positively affects the company culture and the motivation of your employees.
Do you get multiple feedback from your customers that a particular employee is providing poor service or performing their tasks poorly? You should take a critical look at that employee.
Why do errors occur frequently?
Does the employee have all the necessary information to do his job in the best possible way? What is the customer's issue?
Does your employee lack knowledge about a specific product or service?
Are the actions of your employee leading to customer dissatisfaction?
Sometimes it helps to take the customer's problem to the top level and engage in an exchange with the customer yourself. You will always find out very quickly how the customer acts. This helps you to evaluate a situation better. In addition, you will always have the chance to pick up on a complaint from your customer, find a solution, and inspire your customer with your products and services.
Topics concerning the company management
Management and leadership have a tremendous impact on employees, your company's success, the organization within your company, and the way your employees interact with your customers.
Management and leadership should always be characterized by trust, openness, motivation, information, and inspiration.
How can your company be successful if your employees are not convinced and enthusiastic about your products and services?
Your leaders must be able to translate your corporate vision and objectives into their daily work and provide the best possible support to employees in completing their tasks.
Leaders who do not act as role models or motivate their employees every day anew to high performance will have a hard time in the future.
If such executives do not adapt to the current times, they cannot stay at the top of companies.
Leaders who do not work with their employees in a motivating and trusting way but still only determine processes should be developed through training and coaching measures to keep up with today's requirements.
Suppose you have C-level executives who do not represent your company and prefer managing processes rather than designing and improving them. In that case, you can assume that problems will arise very quickly.
One of the reasons for this is that the business environment is changing, and so are the companies you work with.
Covid showed it very strongly. Working conditions must change a lot under certain conditions. Working from a home office or hybrid forms of work are now recognized. But they also lead to new challenges.
These are based solely on the fact that a certain proportion of employees only want to work from the home office. If you don't keep up with these changes, you will very quickly face the problem of having only a limited number of employees to fall back on.
Cultural aspects can also show up in things like gender and diversity.
What is your position on them?
Do these issues possibly lead to problems in your company?
If so, how do you plan to deal with them?
Corporate culture cannot be changed quickly unless you resort to radical approaches, such as moving your company from one city to another and rehiring all the people who do not conform to the desired corporate culture.
In my opinion, most entrepreneurs are unwilling to take such steps, and it is usually better that way. But it also means that changes to the corporate culture must be planned for the long term, and if you find problems related to your corporate culture, you have to approach the issue strategically.
Unfortunately, it doesn't make sense to implement a few measures in the hope that this will change the corporate culture in the desired direction.
I need to make it clear here that it makes absolute sense to change the corporate culture if it is necessary. However, it must always be clear that this is time-consuming and lengthy.
Corporate culture aspects can also have an impact on your customers. If your company has stood for a certain theme for decades and this theme is no longer up to date due to social developments, you should constantly rethink this critically. There are always groups of people who are more traditionally minded, but of course, you must ask yourself whether this group is sufficient to stand as a target group for your products and services.
Of course, in this blog article, I also address the topic of corporate management. Management is either the biggest driver of the company's success or the most significant cause of bad decisions.
And seriously, you don't want to be somewhere in between those two areas, either. If you're in management, you want to be one of the people who move the company forward. You want to motivate employees, and you want to celebrate successes.
If you are not or are not yet one of the top leaders, you should critically ask yourself what you are missing.
Where do you still have difficulties?
Do you lack expertise?
Are you worried about making certain decisions?
Do you feel uncomfortable in your role as a top leader?
Are you afraid of failure?
If you are in management, you must be also aware of the responsibility you have in this position. Employees look up to you. You are a role model for many employees, and they would like to achieve the same that you have already achieved. But you are also the center of attention, and things you decide positively or negatively are often visible to the entire company.
If there are wrong decisions, it is usually very quickly clear who is responsible.
How can you deal with it if you have executives in the management who are not as reliable, conscientious, energetic, or motivating as you might have imagined when you hired them?
The question here is always - what is your plan?
Are you dependent on this leader or not?
Suppose the leader has critical expertise for your company but has problems managing people or controlling processes. In that case, you should address this aspect organizationally and see what options are available for your company. If you don't like this option, you can always think about, coaching, transfer, assignment of other tasks, and dismissal.
If you are the founder or owner of the company, you should not close yourself to your mistakes or problems. It is of no benefit to anyone. If you want to be successful in the market, then you must be critical and always ask yourself the questions, what is not my strength, where do I need support?
Critical self-reflection helps you to optimize the success of your company. If you find self-reflection difficult, don't hesitate to contact me for Executive Coaching.
GRIFFOX is happy to support you in all business-related coaching topics.
One point often not addressed is personal issues in the private or professional environment.
Certain factors that burden you in your private environment or your business environment will lead to problematic situations in a company sooner or later.
Such issues can be very diverse. Whether intolerance, envy, financial problems, affairs, conflicts, or even fears and beliefs. Many cases can lead us to make the wrong decision, spreading through the company and leading to chaos.
Again, it is necessary first to be aware of the situation. How can the situation be improved if we do not admit that a specific condition has led to a problem?
We can try to fix the consequences of a decision, but we will not fix the cause. This invariably means we do not deal with the core of the matter.
We are being dishonest with ourselves. However, this approach will not lead to success. Success usually has a lot to do with hard work, a high degree of self-motivation, and taking the proper measures at the right time.
If we are not honest with ourselves here, it can quickly happen that we make the wrong decisions because we are too proud, for example, to first resolve existing conflicts and then take the proper steps.
In many companies, I have noticed that risk-based approaches are often not considered or are considered too superficially.
This is dangerous for the company and must therefore be classified as problematic.
Risks can also present themselves in many ways, so I'll list a few classic aspects for you to consider.
Financial risks due to miscalculations, process-related risks, organizational risks, risks in the personnel structure, fraud risks, compliance risks, risks in procurement, and sales risks. Of course, there are still many other risks that can affect companies.
It is important to be aware of the potential risks that may be present in your business.
To avoid or minimize chaotic situations, you must become aware of your risks, note them, evaluate them, and update them regularly.
Risk management is complex, but it also protects you from problematic situations.
For example, what have you done to protect yourself from cyber risks?
Are you prepared with a current backup of your information, and if so, how long ago was it established?
In many places, you can efficiently deal with risks. However, we are often unaware of hazards and focus too much on the day-to-day business. Strategic business planning, including risk management, is significant for a company's long-term success.
If you have any questions about this, don't hesitate to contact us, and we will discuss how GRIFFOX can help you set up appropriate risk management for your company.
Your company's environment can also strongly influence whether problematic situations arise.
It is always a good idea to work with the so-called PESTLE analysis.
This analysis examines political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental issues.
It gives you a good overview of the problems in your business environment.
If you have already encountered problems in this area, first describing the problem is always helpful.
Einstein, for example, said that if you describe a problem, you have already half-solved it.
Understanding a problem always helps you to solve the problem.
If problems have arisen in your company environment, it helps you to
describe in which area the problem happened,
what exactly happened,
who caused it,
how it affects your company, and
which areas in your company are affected?
You should also ask:
How long the problem has been known?
Who is the responsible manager?
Are there any potential solutions already in place?
If you are responsible yourself, then you already have the questions here that you should ask.
GRIFFOX can support you in facilitating meetings, analyzing problems, implementing projects, or changing processes and structures.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!