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Thinking Small Can Have a Big Impact

Each employee in a small business is important, and their importance is directly correlated to the size of a business. A single employee in a 10 person staff is extremely consequential versus an equally talented employee in a 100 person staff. And many times, the little things an employee in a small business accomplishes and how they accomplish them are left unknown and not thought about - until that employee leaves.

A real-world example of this: one small business had a key employee leave after several years working with the business. In the immediate aftermath, a litany of relatively simple but time-consuming tasks were left without someone assigned to do them.

What this small company found in this employee’s departure was a little surprising. It wasn’t so much that the person handled a lot of things each day - that they knew.

What they realized was how inefficient a lot of the processes and tasks this person handled each day were.

This is no slight to the departing employee. In fact, it’s more of an indictment on this particular small business, and small businesses in general, for falling victim to a sort of task malaise - allowing certain things to be out of sight and out of mind as long as someone was there to do them.

Many larger companies complain about the habits of new entry-level employees: that new employees don’t have the same work ethic they’d expect from someone trying to make headway in a new industry.

What a lot of leaders in these businesses don’t see, however, is how much the world has changed since they were in similar positions - maybe just five or so years ago.

The typical data-entry and administrative duties entry-level employees were used to for so many years can now be automated. And not only do those entry-level employees realize this, they probably could help create the system to automate those tasks.

So, when you ask a 20-something to update a spreadsheet and they seem bored, chances are it’s not just because they don’t like tedious work.

What these two examples have in common is that many businesses tend to forget the small steps involved in each day, allowing inefficiencies and out-dated practices to create the foundation of their business.

In 2019, you shouldn’t be wasting precious payroll and hours on grunt work if there’s a way to automate it. Before a long-time staffer leaves, or before you pass over a bored entry-level employee for a promotion, think about ways you can innovate and automate the smaller tasks your business encounters each day.

You can free up time for your entire team and find new, more exciting ways to get business done.

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