THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS

How painting company owners can reduce interruptions

by Scott Lollar

There are many day-to-day management frustrations for any painting professional. For some, their days feel like nothing but constant interruptions. Often it’s little things, such as an employee unable to make a decision in a timely manner because of some sort of roadblock. As a result, you are forced to focus on what is urgent instead of what is important.

The truth, however, is that these situations can improve. It simply requires setting up a process to make these issues handle themselves in the future. Here are a few thoughts to help you start chipping away at some of those interruptions:

DOCUMENT AND BUNDLE

The first step is to document your interruptions. Keep an app open on your phone or keep a legal pad handy. Document everything you do in a day, including things you intended and did not intend, then find common interruptions: Field. Customer. Admin. Vendor. Where are the disruptions coming from?

By bundling the interruptions into categories, you can begin to identify the sources or root of the deficiencies in your processes. Document your interruptions for at least a week then, once you see the issues that are constantly and consistently keeping you from focusing on the most important tasks, move to the next step …

USE A SYSTEM

I recommend using the concept of ‘Key Frustrations’ taught in Michael Gerber’s E-Myth books and courses. Let’s say your frustration involves an employee who calls you routinely with the same problem. Look closely at the resources that employee has available to them. Are the tools in place for this daily or weekly problem to be solved? If not, that’s the top of the funnel—the spot to start creating your solution or system to eliminate the constant disruptions.

The concept here is instead of solving issues one at a time, create a system to solve the problem consistently and permanently. Some of the questions the Key Frustrations Process worksheet includes are:

  • What kind of system would eliminate the frustrating condition?
  • What result would the system have to produce?
  • Do I really want to eliminate the frustration or would I rather live with it?
  • Who will be accountable for designing the system?
  • What training has to take place?

You can find more information by Googling ‘Key Frustrations E-Myth,” where you’ll also find a Key Frustrations Process worksheet.

Once you have identified an issue, determine the process that will eliminate the problem permanently. I would even encourage you to invite other members of your team to help with building the systems they will utilize in the future, as they will be more inclined to buy into the processes if they had a hand in creating them.

Scott Lollar is a 30-year veteran of the painting industry and enjoys coaching and consulting painting contractors as part of DYB Coach. He can be reached at Scott@DYBCoach.com. For more articles on developing systems for your painting business, visit inpaintmag.com

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