The term bureaucracy is most often associated with the Government. It has to do with the “red tape” that acts as a barrier to accomplishing a simple task.
In today’s world we have become accustomed to expect delays in accomplishing even the most basic business request. Most calls are answered with the first instruction being “press one for English, press 2 for…” This message is usually followed by another series of questions which, with some luck and a lot of patience, may connect you with your desired destination. In some small businesses the call is answered with, “Please leave a message and we will return the call as soon as possible”.
Another example of bureaucracy and inefficiency occurs in a small business that is passing from a stage one to a stage two business. In this example, the owner has grown the business to include some staff, a business plan, and even some profit. This growth transition requires the owner to “let go” and turn over operational responsibility to leaders in the organization. In some cases, the owner feels that his involvement is critical and does not allow the staff to do their “jobs.” I feel that this happens when an owner does not know what his role should be as the company grows and thus becomes a bottleneck. This type of bureaucracy, at this stage of a business’ growth, may result in an unhappy staff and customers which, if not corrected, can cause business failure.
I define the term business bureaucracy as something that occurs which slows down the delivery of a product or service. Having a simple, direct communication system between a customer and the product/service delivery person is vital to customer satisfaction. This results in a favorable image which will lead to referrals and future growth.
Between 9am and 11 am this morning I made three attempts to contact someone that could work with me on a new project. By placing my requirements on Google, I selected three local firms and looked at their web sites. The first had only an e-mail as a method of contact; I stated my needs and sent the e-mail. The next service provider had both an e-mail and a phone number, I left messages on both. The third answered my e-mail request with a three page questionnaire asking what I wanted, when I wanted it and what I was willing to pay. Again I filled out the request and sent it back. I have not had a return call or e-mail from any of these three small businesses.
Efficiency and customer satisfaction should be the prime motivator in setting up internal systems, including communications and product/service delivery. This is one of the “building blocks” that I use in the development of an individual business plan. Take a look at the communication and delivery process in your business. It should be systematized so that it will always operate in an efficient and customer pleasing manner.
Before everything else, getting ready is the key to success. Henry Ford
Nick J. Petra CFP we have the tools, it’s up to you to call. firstname.lastname@example.org