27 Sep Justification for your next vacation
In my previous blog I wrote to owners about taking an extended vacation to learn how your company performs while you are away. Analyze your inbox when you return to learn what you need to do to improve your company and make it more attractive and valuable if you ever decide to sell it.
Start with your people and answer the following questions:
• Why did this problem end up on my desk?
• Who else is qualified to answer this question and why was that person not consulted?
• If nobody else is qualified, who can be trained to answer this question in the future?
Next, look at your systems and procedures. Could the issue have been dealt with if you had a system or a set of rules in place? The best systems are hardwired and do not require human interpretation; but if you’re not able to lock down a technical fix, then at least give employees a set of rules to follow in the future.
You may be a bottleneck in your own company if you’re trying to control spending too much. Employees may know what to do but do not have any means of paying for the fix they know you would want.
For example, you could put a customer service rule in place that gives your front line staff the authority to make a customer happy in any way they see fit provided it could be done for under $100. Another option is to allow an employee to spend a specific amount with a specific supplier each month without coming to you first. Or consider giving key employees an annual budget or amount they can spend without seeking your approval.
Given the fires that may need to be extinguished after the fact, taking a holiday may seem more of a hassle than it’s worth. But if you transform the aftermath of a vacation into systems and training that allow employees to act on their own, you’ll find the vacation is worth what you paid for it many times over: your company will increase in value as it becomes less dependent on you personally.