I recently decided to hire a maid. I’m totally capable of cleaning my own home. The fact of the matter is though at the end of the day, after I’ve been working 8+ hours, I want to spend my time outside–at least during Summer. However, as soon as I start thinking about the weeds I want to pull or the blueberry bushes I want to plant, I get caught up thinking that I also need to cook dinner soon, which means I need to unload the dishwasher. Then I’m struck by how I really should mop the kitchen floor. And about how the front of the cabinets need to be wiped down. You see where I’m going with this. I find that the longer I work, the more “bare minimum” I do at home. So all those little things I really want to get done just go by the wayside because I’m treading water doing laundry, dishes, and sweeping up the piles of dog hair. So, I finally decided that to make my life easier and more enjoyable, I’ll hire a maid.
I think this is true for work too. The more work you have on the plate, the more bare minimum you do. In June, with an influx of backflow prevention tests to be completed, things start getting shoved by the wayside. Soon, you’re treading water by getting backflow test reports to water purveyors and letting other things go by the wayside–like follow-ups with potential new customers, or remembering to invoice customers in a timely fashion. And when this happens, next year those customers that reached out to you to try to have their backflow devices tested will just go with someone else. Or, in even more unfortunate situations, customers you’ve tested in the past are being tested by another company. When all you’re doing is treading water, letting things slip away that are actually important becomes easier to do.
What is Making you Tread Water?
So, if this is what you find yourself doing, what should you do? Hire a maid! Not, literally. (Unless your office needs a good vacuuming and then, go ahead, hire one.) Find what is making you do just the bare minimum–is it because you’re spending 10 hours each week micro-managing your testers because you give them tests to complete each day? Is it because you pick up every phone call from every customer that calls you? Maybe it’s something else completely–if you work from a home office you might find yourself combining work and non-work activities often-like taking your kids to the park in the middle of a nice day when all you can hear is little voices saying, “Daaaaad! We’re booooorrrreddd!”
The obvious solution is to eliminate this issues from your daily tasks, and in doing so, streamline your backflow testing business. There are many possibilities! Hire a next-door neighbor teen to watch and entertain your children for 3 hours every afternoon when you’re in the office sending off invoices. Instead of picking up the phone every time it rings, hire a receptionist to answer phones and return calls a few days a week–and stop answering your cell phone when you’re out testing other backflow devices. Every Friday afternoon, have your newly-hired receptionist put a week worth of backflow tests to perform for the next week for each of your testers.
Life-preservers aren’t always person-oriented, but they often help. You might be surprised at how much less water you’re treading by the end of the first week or two with your new solution. And if you’re interested in a software solution to help you streamline things, give C3 a free try!