Really, another trip to the emergency room?

My youngest child had been to the emergency room for stitches three times before he hit kindergarten. And strangely, he’s my most cautious kid! It just goes to show you that the Unruly Toddler is surrounded by potential danger – even when it might seem like it’s safe.

Not so different at work! To safeguard your business during these risky years, make sure you baby-proof. Put the necessary security devices into place even if it doesn’t seem like you need them. I mean really, whoever thought they’d need a toilet lock? It’s only after you fish the pencil out of the pipes that you understand its many uses.

To baby-proof your business:

  • Put a line of credit into place, even if you don’t need it today
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance and shop it every year
  • Have your legal documents reviewed by a competent business attorney
  • Institute formal personnel policies and documents, including evaluation procedures, from the time of your first hire

And perhaps most important – pay your taxes in full and on time! May seem obvious but I’ve seen many businesses derailed by struggles with the IRS.

Safety may not be foremost on your mind when you’re chasing your business around every day but it can’t be overlooked. After all, no one wants to spend the night in the ER!

What have you done to baby-proof your business? Send your thoughts to – if I use them, I’ll feature your business.

Why to write yourself a job description

The other day as I was frantically trying to get my house in order before heading out the door I thought to myself, “If I had a job description for managing my home, what on earth would it look like?” Here are some of the things you’d find on it:

  •  Remove unmentionable substances from floors, walls, appliances, and occasionally ceilings using effective yet non-toxic cleansers.
  • Wash, fold, and put away up to 12 loads of laundry per week, using predictive analysis to determine who is most likely to run out of pants first.
  • Feed nutritious, palatable food to five people three times a day including one who measures his food intake in molecules.

You get the picture.

What does your job description look like? If you’ve never written one for yourself it can be a great exercise. Here’s how to get started:

  1.  First, write down an exhaustive list of all the things you do in your business.
  2. Next, assign a percentage to each task that represents the amount of time spent in an average week. The total cannot exceed 100%!
  3. Finally, track your time for a week or two to see if you got the percentages right. This can be a real eye-opener. It’s not unusual for someone to think they’re spending 10% of their time on something like e-mail and administrative tasks only to find out it’s closer to 40%.
  4. Tune your responsibilities as needed. (A tip: If you are on the verge of adding staff, a good area in which to hire would be one that consumes a huge percentage of your time. Think of the productivity boost it gives you!)

Of course, the purpose of this exercise to identify areas for change. Eliminate tasks where you can, outsource others or get some help to manage your time differently.

Personally, I’m thinking of outsourcing the laundry.

What’s your least favorite business (or household) task? Send it – if I use it, I’ll feature your business.