In the world of business, one of the great ironies is that many successful new enterprises fail within the first year or two, because they cannot manage their growth. Just when they should enjoy the most prosperity, the owners lose control of budgets, inventory, staffing, and capital requirements. Those who lead the organization go from being visionary innovators to overburdened, disorganized, ineffective bosses who cannot handle their increasing responsibility. Workflow management descends into chaos, record keepers are swamped with data they cannot effectively manage, and weekly to do lists grow out of hand without the right task management strategies to get things done.
As a business manager, you understand how critical it is to stay productive to remain competitive and bring in consistent profits. You also realize that your business has limited resources and you often have to focus on improving your efficiencies to drive business growth.
When it comes to task management for your small to mid-sized business, don’t get so focused on sales that you neglect to add inventory monitoring and analysis to your “to do list.” Fail to acknowledge the value of this kind of protocol in a restaurant, for example, and you can wind up spending your hard-earned profit on food that spoils and winds up in the dumpster, not on the plate. The same is true for bar owners. Slack inventory management can leave your bottles dry when business peaks, or can have you paying for the wrong brands and categories that only gather dust on the shelf. Worse still, if bar inventory becomes too unmanageable; you could run afoul of state alcohol regulations and wind up in legal trouble. Businesses with alcohol licenses typically have to account for every bottle of booze they sell – and if they cannot keep track of their liquor inventory, they may fail an audit.
Technological advances, including mobile phone applications, have created a low-overhead, high-productivity tool kit that can greatly benefit small and medium-sized businesses. The digital technology accelerating and enhancing the way business is done is of particular significance to franchise owners, restaurants, and companies that sell retail products and consumer packaged goods. But unless owners and managers take advantage of these technologies, they’ll be left behind by competitors who are more comfortable upgrading to the new ways of doing business in the 21st century.
If you own or manage an enterprise, you already know that time is tight and that as the leader you have to prioritize your areas of focus. The more you can succeed at intelligent task management and getting items off of your to-do list, the faster you can get back to the essential business of building your company and turning a profit – as its visionary thought leader, not its go-to worker bee.