Keeping things simple in an increasing complex environment is quite challenging. In the beginning my business was quite simple, because everything was completed by me and I was the only person involved. However, as it grows it becomes increasingly layered with more complexity because there are more people and more processes to manage. Even the concept “Open New Studio,” which seems simple has many steps and more things to consider than I initially thought.
My goal is create a culture where we are always striving to find new ways to eliminate steps so that our business becomes more efficient and less physiological and well as less psychologically taxing. Moving, hiring new staff and opening a new space have made become acutely aware of the levels energy required when things are complex. So, this week I took some steps to regain control and simplify.
1. How to Create a Consistent Brand Image
Our brand image is very important to me. Everything has to have a consistent level of professionalism, clean design and colours to it. So, creating templates for our staff to write reports and programs was part of this. These templates are in word and include a style sheet. We have particular colours, so those colour numbers (pantone, RGB and CMYK) need to be communicated to everyone who uses them.
Paint companies don’t use pantones so, last Thursday I went to Dulux paints and colour matched three colours that are part of their permanent colour collection with our Pantone colours. This made it easier for the painters to pick up specific numbers and easier for us to match in future locations while increase my confidence that I would be happy with the overall design.
2. Hire a Payroll Service
I have been doing all our payroll which includes adding everything up, creating the paycheque in Quickbooks, sending out statements and paying payroll taxes. All of this takes time away from other activities I could do like gain new clients. This week I decided a payroll service would suit us better because all I have to do is enter the pay information in the system and then enter a general ledger statement into our accounting system.
3. Pricing, Services and Product Offers
If you have more than one SKU – then you know how complicated it can get. Last Friday we sat down to figure out our pricing schedule for new and current services. Making it as simple and straight forward as possible makes it easy for new staff to sell and deliver. Also, our clients will more easily understand what we offer. Alleviating confusion and reduces chances of someone being over or undercharged.
4. Electronic Funds Transfers for Better Cash Flow
To manage cash flow, make it easy to pay bills and have invoices paid. Often regular clients means that you have regular cash flow. This is especially important in the fitness club and personal training environments. With EFTs clients have a predictable payment schedule and you, the business owner can build your EFTs up to point where it at least meets your fixed expenses. We also decided to have one of our third party payers complete EFTs so that our payments are not delayed by mail delivery or having to go to the bank to make the deposits. It is also possible to set-up direct debits for vendors and employees or sub-contractors (you don’t have to wait for them to receive and cash the cheque).
These are just a few ways to simplify your business. Can you think of any others?
Thank you for reading my 75th article on this blog.