Where could your business use an Auto-Flush?

Photo by Elsie esq. via Flickr

Photo by Elsie esq. via Flickr

We are often asked where inspiration comes from for our blog posts…this one should be self-explanatory. 😉    Reducing unnecessary distractions continues to be one of the most significant opportunities for improving our client’s productivity at work and in their personal time.   Imagine having an Auto-Flush for these unwanted distractions…! What would be the top 5 things you would flush first?   How would it improve your productivity?

This is somewhat unscientific, but observation and experience has shown these to be perennial distractions in 21st century business that would be better served on the receiving end of a high powered Auto-Flush.

Email Management:  Frequently, this is one of the biggest opportunities for an automatic flusher to go to work and keep correspondence organized and prioritized.    You may enjoy reading Newsletters, checking groupon offers, and reading up on your favorite sports team feed, but when you’re allowing them to interrupt your day, it’s not a productive way to work.   If you want to watch some great “how-to” videos, here are links to three of the more popular email providers; Outlook, I-Cloud, and Google.   Let the system (auto-flush) organize them as they come in.  When you do access them, they are presorted so you’ll be more efficient reading them as well.

Involved in issues others are responsible for:   If you have ever been asked a question that clearly should be directed to someone else, you are aware of this distractor.   For the Auto-Flush to work in this case, you must refrain from answering the question, even if it is the quickest “short-term” solution.   Instead, redirect it to the appropriate person. Start training people who to go to and don’t allow them to use you as the short cut.  Getting the right people in the right seats on the bus has to be more than lip service and a name on an organizational chart.  It has to be implemented.  Once your employees understand who is responsible for what the Auto-Flusher will take over.

Scheduling: Trying to schedule meetings going back and forth using email or playing phone tag can be exhausting.  Certainly there is a place where more formal communication is appropriate. But implementing a clear shift of scheduling between acquainted business contacts, company employees, and family members to google calendar, outlook, iCal, or a professional scheduling software like Timetrade will create an Auto-Flush that cuts out a lot of time confirming who, when, and where.

Getting Paid: Cash is King, we say it all the time.  If you aren’t getting paid timely, your business will struggle.  Today, there are so many great electronic options available; the excuses for not having this on Auto-Flush are getting limited, yet we continue to see business struggle with getting paid.  You’re probably familiar with PayPal. But that is just one of many.  We are big fans of IPN (Intuit’s product).   Also check out SquareDowalla, and Square Cash.   More directly needing e-commerce?  Check out cubecartwoocommerce, and shopify.   Take some time to research the security level of these products.  Not that they are not safe, but depending on how you set them up the level of security can vary.   If plugging one of these into your business appears daunting, we would be happy to refer you to someone who can help.

Data Backup:  If you still haven’t installed an Auto-Flush on this function of your business, I hope this is the catalyst to call the plumber (figuratively speaking)!  I heard two different stories again this past week of businesses that had hard drives/servers fail without having current backups.  The cost to try and correct these mistakes is costly and regardless how hard one tries, you will still be missing information.  Can you answer this simple statement?

____________ is responsible for backing up our company data.

With so many inexpensive options out there, don’t be someone’s backup horror story.    If you find yourself confused with the options, we will be glad to connect you with a professional.

On a related note, you should also have something in place to back-up your Website – if you have WordPress, here’s a good article from 10Web on Backing Up your WordPress Site

Do any of these sound familiar in your business?  What are you doing that you would like to see automated to the point that is did not require effort on your part or the part of your employees to get completed?   Take a few minutes and think about it.  At your next staff meeting, challenge them and see where an Auto-Flush just might be the answer to improving a step that is costing your business money and wasting valuable time.

Chris Steinlage    Kansas City Business Coach