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  • Julie Herres

The importance of Efficiency in the age of Coronavirus (and all year long)

Let me start by saying, I'm a huge fan of being efficient. That's why I have been Clockworking my business for the last 18 months with the help of Adrienne Dorison and the amazing Run Like Clockwork team. Clockwork is one of Mike Michalowicz's amazing books - if you haven't picked it up you should. Adrienne graciously allowed me to re-post her article here for private practice owners.

I want to start out by saying the health + safety of you + your family is what's MOST important right now -- I AM going to be talking about your business and how coronavirus is potentially impacting the economic part of your life, but I do not want that to feel insensitive in anyway to the other challenges you're currently experiencing.


I just know that the business impacts of this virus are also very real for you as a small business owner and it would be very remiss of me to not pass on this information.


We've officially entered what's called a bear market. The market is dropping quickly, consumers aren't spending right now, they're hibernating...and with the current pandemic and self-quarantining recommendations, they're literally hiding at home!


Which tends to put small business owners like you and me, at risk.


Not only are people fearful about what the economy will be doing in the near future and cutting back on their spending, but they're physically quarantined at home and unable to support local + small business owners because of it.


And a lot of small businesses have exposed themselves to a major risk during this type of market environment if they operate on tight margins and minimal cash flow reserves. Depending on how long this whole thing lasts, many small business owners may find themselves backed into a corner and forced to close their doors for good.


But this doesn't have to be the case for you as a small business owner...this can actually be an incredible opportunity that will force you to think a little bit differently + get more efficient.


Here's what I mean by being forced to think a little bit differently right now…


Have you started to notice this past week that maybe you've previously been using more toilet paper with each wipe than you really NEED to?


If there wasn't a toilet paper shortage, you would have never even thought about it. But now because of the great coronavirus / toilet paper crisis of 2020, you're acutely aware you could run out, and you're realizing maybe you could use just a little bit less each time you wipe and still get the job done. Maybe you're even rationing your children so they don't go overboard or if you're like my husband...you're upstairs installing the bidet.


Things you wouldn't have thought about before, you're thinking about now.


These same rules apply to your business right now.


You have the opportunity to start thinking differently, more efficiently, about your business. You'll start to be able to see things that you don't truly need, or resources you could be using more efficiently, or systems that could make things easier … that you would have never been able to see without being in this position.


It's easy to focus on just more sales and more marketing when things are good...and push operations, systems + efficiency to the backburner…


But NOW is the time when you cannot ignore the waste that's piling up in your business...


→ the things you're spending money on that aren't adding value,

→ the lack of data, metrics, and financials for strategic decision-making,

→ the projects that aren't really moving the needle forward,

→ the systems that are clunky or worse, don't even exist,

→ the bulkiness of a team that we're not sure is performing at it's best...


These are all potential inefficiencies that we MUST address if we want to survive in a market where people are hesitant to buy.


If you want to be able to survive through this uncertainty, you need to be ultra-efficient.


Getting more efficient was likely an area of improvement that seemed like something you'd get to "someday" … but it has now become an essential part of small business survival, trust me.


This is not a time to panic as a leader, it's a time to get strategic.


Author: Adrienne Dorison

This article is designed to provide information only and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Because of the complexity of the law and the variables in your own personal tax situation, you can’t rely on our advice specifically related to your unique circumstances. In order to get the best tax savings and legal advice available to you, you should consult with your own accountant, attorney or advisor regarding your particular facts and circumstances. GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with counselors and therapists in private practice. We provide monthly accounting & bookkeeping services, 1-time services and online courses. For more information on our specialized services for therapists please visit https://www.greenoakaccounting.com

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