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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Simple systems

How much complexity does your business need?

Well, obviously if you are building complex structures, or need to meet detailed specifications, you had better have these things right -- with appropriate fail-safe and verification resources. But if you are looking at marketing and general business management, then indeed keeping it simple makes a lot of sense.
You certainly need systems that transcend individuals, of course. If you are making all our business decisions seat-of-the-pants, or because someone with a strong personality (perhaps yourself) are driving things, then you need to take a step back and determine if your business is operating properly.

Far too many AEC business owners just go with the flow, and don't really look at how their business operates, and catch things when they are wrong. You need to systems and procedures to deal with these things.

I abhor administrative bureaucracy as much as anyone else, but have learned that regular and routine staff meetings are vital, and annual planning processes are essential. You also need a reliable employee evaluation system, clear policies regarding client service and communication, and enough phone lines! (Yes, I received a call a few minutes ago from a client who had been trying to reach us all day yesterday to get only busy signals. Ouch!)

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