In my younger years, I worked for a family run business (well, actually more than one). The yard was
huge, we had a retail paint store, an office and a production facility. There were 9 telephones, and my
boss ran the business on little slips of paper in his front pocket. He was a pocket protector (See Pithy
Business Rule #10)
Consequently, I got many a customer phoning, or entering the office wondering where their order was.
Sometimes it was ready, more often – NOT!
Being an organizational type, I quickly developed a form and a tracking system for the form. I put stacks
of forms near each phone, and jars of pens near the stacks. I told my boss, “All you have to do is fill out
the form and put it on my desk. I will take it from there.”
Within the month we were more productive, customer complaints had diminished, and we could make
certain that material was in place to fulfill the orders that were placed. Life was good.
One morning, I walked into the office and there was a big chunk of drywall sitting on my desk.
Confused, I looked at it carefully. On it was written a customer’s order. I just had to laugh, he had run
out of forms – but the habit was instilled.
I refreshed the stack of forms and logged the order. It wasn’t the paper that was important, it was the
process. Successful processes are easy to follow and breed success. When igniting your business, keep
in mind the following,
keep things simple
make things easy to follow
Always look to the end result and be willing to reevaluate processes, things change, people change,
technology changes – being open to fresh “paperless” ideas can result in a thriving business.