A bottleneck is just a term that describes the slowing down of productivity. If you look at a coke bottle, the neck is smaller than the bottle. The term signifies that a slow down or even a stoppage is occurring at a certain place in the plan you’ve implemented. Bottlenecks can occur at every stage of a business, from development to purchasing to marketing, and everywhere in between.
Set Your Goals
The best goal-setting process ensures that every part of the project is planned and organized in a meaningful way. You will know exactly what the product looks like and how to get there with the planning and goal-setting process. Think of goal setting as a way to create a roadmap to your bottleneck-free success.
Set Realistic Deadlines
When you set a deadline for something, don’t pull it out of thin air. Some deadlines will be dictated by clients, and others - like new product launches - are set by you. You don’t want to change a launch date after you set it, so always be clear on what it really takes, based on your communication with your team, to get the results you desire.
Use the Right Tools
Skimping on the right tools is often a huge indicator that a bottleneck will occur. If you don’t invest in the right software, human resources, and tools that you need to get a job done, you’ll naturally have roadblocks.
Form the Right Team
When you find people to help you in your business, do your due diligence to find the right team members. It will take longer this way, but you don’t want to just bring on anyone that’s the cheapest or the easiest without a lot of thought. Chances are you’ll go through several people before finding the right team, but if you’re clear on what you want from the start, you’ll be more successful.
Know How Long a Task Takes
When you set deadlines, you can’t do it without really knowing how long something takes the person you are outsourcing to. What is their turn around time? When you set their due dates, do you have enough leeway in the schedule that you’ll be able to do your part if they’re late?
Communicate with the Team
Using a system like Basecamp or Trello to communicate with your team is an important part of running a business. Setting up templates, an FAQ, and other information to help them make vision-oriented decisions that align with your values is going to go a long way to helping you avoid bottlenecks.
Check the Data
If you’re not sure about when and where you have bottlenecks, check your data and debrief after every single completed project. Send notices to your team about what a good job they did but also point out anything you’d like to see improved.
Know Where Bottlenecks are Likely
When you set up your business, it’s important to identify any area a bottleneck might occur. In fact, you might be responsible for most of the bottlenecks you’re exercising. This is especially true if you’re hesitating about outsourcing, or not doing your own work on time. If your VA needs certain info from you and is waiting on it or has to ask for it, you’re the cause.
Creating the lifestyle that you want with your business requires focusing on improving efficiencies in your business model. Improving efficiencies and productivity require that the work you do alone and with others is mostly done on time in a standard way. To do this in a way that lessens or eliminates bottlenecks requires that you set the project up right from the start. This begins with goal setting, planning, organization, and delegation.
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