Small business owners must know what peak flow is and how to increase it
Your small business will have ebbs and flows; times of intense volumes then rest periods. Every business has cycles that are specific to their industry and economic climate. It is critical that business owners understand how much they are actually able to do when things get busy. If your business experiences a high amount of volume in a few months, you will need to have systems and staffing capability to handle that peak flow. If you don’t have the capacity, you will ultimately lose clients and your reputation will suffer.
Take a look at your Peak Flow and examine where your current business structure is at handling the volume.
Do you have enough employees?
Are you able to manage all aspects of your business effectively when it gets busy?
What areas will suffer with a lack of employees, equipment, or proper follow-up?
It’s great to do a record volume one month – but if you are unable to effectively invoice and bill your clients, your collection efforts will increase. More time spent on collections (that could have been avoided) is something you will want to change (not to mention that slow invoicing is the number one thing that leads to bad debt).
Once you begin making mistakes and messing up due to being overworked, you will end up spending extra time smoothing over things with your clients in an attempt to keep them. The extra effort you spend after mistakes are made will ultimately compound the problem and increase your stress and it will reduce your overall capacity in the busy times. The end result to this scenario is that you lose control, clients, and valuable business.
Key indicators to watch for:
As you look through your business operation at peak times, take a look at what you stop doing from time to time even when you are not busy. We all have things we don’t like doing; things like filing, prospecting, paperwork and even follow-up. If you’re not doing these from time to time when you actually have time to do them, you can be sure that you will drop them quickly when you are busy.
The next thing to look for is how stress is working for you. Reasonable stress will increase a small business owners’ performance – to a degree. Once we hit the point of where we cannot bare the level of stress we are under, our performance will radically drop immediately. A combination of time and intensity can tell you more about your stress capacity. Understanding this capacity will help you plan for the help and changes that you need to make to keep your small business working effectively.
So remember, every small business owner or employee has a maximum capacity to perform in busy times. How much work you can handle will be determined on how you do things. Considering your peak flow in advance will prevent system failure and loss of clients. You owe it to yourself to plan in advance – it can save you thousands of dollars every year.