• Mel B. Cook

Small Business Owners Should Not Delay Critical Projects

Solid project implementation is necessary for small businesses to build, grow and scale. However, many small businesses don’t have the resources or manpower to hire a project manager, who is solely responsible for managing projects. As a result, many employees are expected to multi-task and complete “duties as assigned.” This process can be a nightmare in an ever-changing environment with impeding priorities and limited resources. Some employees adapt and excel, but many will struggle because processes and detail aren’t their strengths. Nevertheless, there are simple solutions you can get the entire team involved, alleviate pressure, and successfully employ new processes, policies, and systems. Besides, the project you've been prolonging is a need not a want.

Recently I was leading a talk with over two dozen small business CEOs throughout the United States. One of the major pain points reported was successfully employing new processes, policies, or systems. The CEOs were clear about what they desired to accomplish but believed they didn’t have the right staff to get the job done. Consequently, they delayed major projects that could save them time and money, while improving their client experience. Many of these successful CEOs reported that they attempted to start but once they began to map out the details the process seemed cumbersome, and they instantly became overwhelmed. They were sacrificing long-term gains for immediate wins. Therefore, the business was maxing out in its position versus its revenue.

I have been a part of 5-figure and 8-figure implementations. The key to any successful implementation is getting everyone involved in the planning stage, collectively designing a project plan, communicating early and often, and setting realistic milestones. Furthermore, each team member must be clear on the project goal and be committed to making it successful. You don’t have to the latest technology or project planning software to remain organized and communicate clearly. While working with Johns Hopkins, one of the top 5 health care systems, our first multi-million dollar install required a spreadsheet, a scope document created in MS Word, and CRM to store critical documents. Then, a team invested in the success of the project and organization. These are the tools most small businesses have access to or can gain access to with limited barriers.

I understand that within small businesses the teams have multiple priorities. That is the best incentive to implementing more efficient processes, policies, or systems. Typically, that one change will impact the functional area of each employee within the business. Therefore, call everyone to the table and tell them what you desire to implement, set a clear objective, and collectively draft a project plan. Your local small business administration or chamber of commerce has extensive resources to assist with project planning and guiding your team. Besides, you can bring in a consultant to guide the process, gain buy-in, or design the project planning process. Also, several CRM companies host free classes on leveraging their software to get desired results and increase efficiency. You have a variety of resources at your disposal despite your budget, company size, or revenue. Be mindful that once you get a standard project management process, then it can be duplicated for future projects, no matter the size of your new endeavor. Furthermore, it will empower your staff to provide their feedback and become deeply invested in the success of the project and business. Not to mention, you will gain a deeper understanding of your staff, their hidden talents, and the strengths that didn’t make their resume.

Often, project implementations can be complex and contain many moving parts. However, we mustn’t delay processes, policies, or systems that can lead to stronger, healthier, and more sustainable businesses. Including your entire team in the project will increase the richness of the implementation, offer diversity, and allow you to create rich project plans, which will result in promising results. The size of your team, budget, or revenue is no excuse not to implement what is best for your small business. You can keep the process simple, access quality resources, and get adequate assistance if needed. By including your entire team in the planning and implementation process you alleviate pressure and get those critical projects done. Building, growing, and scaling awaits!!!

If you are struggling with current project implementation or prolonging your next project, then reach out to us and we can help. Send us an email to info@kendallficklin.com and tell us how we can serve you and make the project implementation process easier for you and your team.

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