Does it feel like you’re constantly moving from one crisis to another while running your business? Sure, the occasional sleepless night is expected. But, if you’ve been in business for some time now, and you’re still forced to burn the midnight oil, that’s a red flag that chaos has taken over.

If you feel like your workload leaves no room for a breather, let alone a break, you’re not alone. Your team is likely caught in the chaos with you. It’s time to get your crew out of its chaotic state and create a joyful space for you and your employees.

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Free Guide: Small Business Communication Tips


Business in Chaos

In a perfect world, your business would have the friendliest staff, quick turnaround times and zero financial concerns. But because we don’t live in a perfect world, it’s normal to expect a bump or two in the road. But when does a bumpy road turn into a chaotic one?

Here are some tell-tale signs of chaos reigning in your business:

  • Lack of a detailed plan or processes. It’s impossible to work towards something when there is no end goal in place. And having uncertain processes can quickly lead to a disorganized environment. Without consistent procedures, monitoring your business’s activities and identifying areas for improvement becomes challenging.
  • Zero accountability. This is usually caused by a lack of clear expectations for various roles on the team. When you don’t communicate what is expected or what is considered the standard, it’s impossible to hold people accountable.
  • Forgoing performance management. Trusting your gut is one thing, but businesses produce patterns. Businesses in chaos aren’t monitoring these patterns, which leads to reaction-based actions rather than data-driven decisions.

When a business is in a state of chaos, time is being mismanaged, effort is spent on the wrong task and your team is not empowered to flex their abilities.

It’s enough to drive you mad, but chaos within your business doesn’t just mess with your business-focused brain. It messes with your money, too.

Use the chaos around you to fuel your growth and bring a bit of bliss back into the workplace for your employees. After all, it will only go up from here if you’re willing to put in the work.

Building Your Bliss Plan

We know addressing chaos in your business can be a daunting task, but it’s necessary to get your business back on track.

Luckily, with the right approach, it’s easy to tackle.

Step 1: Revisit Your Why

The easiest way to get started is to revisit why you started your business. What is your company mission and why is it so important to you?

It’s easy to lose sight of your passion while swimming in to-do lists. And while you’ve taken on innumerable tasks to keep your business running, stop and ask yourself if any of them even directly relate to your company mission.

Take a moment to gather your leadership and collectively lean into your why.

It’s tempting to skip this step because thinking about why you launched this business is such a simple task; however, without a solid foundation, the building you’re in now would crumble.

Likewise, without checking back in with your company mission, your business will likely continue to struggle to become the corporation you dream of.

It’s also worth noting that your mission can evolve over time as your business grows and changes. Revisit your company mission periodically to make sure it still aligns with your business’s values and goals.

If not, make the changes necessary to make it your compass towards a more tranquil workplace.

Step 2: Perform an Assessment

Organizational assessments are not optional. When you break your arm, the orthopedist doesn’t just slap a cast on it. You’d end up healing incorrectly and susceptible to further damage.

Instead, they have to see what they’re up against first. So do you. When launching your organizational assessment:

  • Look at your company mission and use it to identify where your business is falling short.
  • Check employee job descriptions and responsibilities to ensure they match not only the level of expectations you’ve placed on them, but also their pay grade.
  • Analyze the employee turnover rates and reasons for insight into what your current employees may be facing.
  • Go through customer satisfaction and feedback for clues to where your business can improve.
  • Monitor your work environment and culture to make sure you’re providing the best working conditions you can for your staff.
The Small Business Communications Time Suck is Real

The Small Business Communications Time Suck is Real

Yes, communication is vital, but is it eating up all your whole day? Take back those hours now!

Step 3: Get to the Root

Post-assessment, identifying the root issue should be a breeze. If your mission statement stated you were committed to customer service, but the online reviews revealed that customer service is not quality during the organizational assessment, then you know that to get to the root, you must reach out to the customer service team.

Let’s take a beat to examine how you could’ve gotten to this place.

Loss of focus

When you try to wear all of the hats and manage every move of the business, you can easily lose sight of why you’re even in business. You’re so set on checking off boxes that you begin unintentionally stunting the growth of your business.

Losing focus can make it challenging to maintain productivity, which leads to missed deadlines, incomplete projects and a general sense of chaos within the organization. Additionally, making informed decisions becomes increasingly difficult.

This can lead to wasted time and resources, as well as missed opportunities.

Inability to prioritize work

Everything isn’t on fire in your company. You just haven’t learned to prioritize. And no, marking 10 tasks as urgent doesn’t count. Take the time to identify your needs and then rank them 1-10.

By prioritizing tasks, you can avoid wasting time on those non-essential tasks. Not to mention, reduce stress levels and improve overall time management. This means greater efficiency and the ability to achieve long-term goals within your company.

Without clear priorities, it can be difficult for you and your team to know what tasks are most important to focus on, leading to wasted time and effort — and feelings of running around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off.

If you’re not sure where to start:

  • Categorize tasks based on their level of difficulty and complexity. Doing this helps you and your staff tackle the more challenging tasks when you all have the most energy and focus, and save the lighter ones for later in the day.
  • Take into account any dependencies or interdependencies between tasks. Some tasks may need to be completed before others, and it’s important to factor this into your prioritization.
  • Consider the potential risks and consequences of not completing certain tasks on time. This is sure to light a fire under you and help you see more clearly which tasks have a higher level of impact on the business.
Not enough qualified staff

If you fell ill, would your business suffer or would your staff rise to the challenge? If you’re not totally convinced a sick day is possible, you may not have enough qualified staff on your team.

When there are not enough employees to cover all essential roles, those who are present may be overworked and unable to focus on their assigned tasks leading to a decrease in productivity and quality of work.

While some businesses may benefit from the gig economy to fill position holes, others in industries that demand certain qualifications would be better off seeking out a way to land top talent for their company.

Bring your team in and find out what’s hindering them from providing star-quality service. This leads us to our next steps toward finding a long-lasting solution.

Step 4: Protect your Staff

You’ve identified the issues and now’s the time to put new policies in place. If employees feel stretched thin, it’s time to increase the minimum number of staff on hand or adjust your hours of operation.

If your team isn’t feeling up to snuff on their stuff, put aside the funding to get them in classes or host a re-training day to ensure everyone has the knowledge they need.

To help with prioritizing, only request what can reasonably be done by your staff. It’s OK to say no to outside requests, especially when it keeps everyone from losing their minds.

Regardless of how you got into the chaos, it’s important to keep your eyes on the prize: Getting and STAYING out of the chaos.

Spark Joy

The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. As a business owner, you want your employees to enjoy those moments spent at your business. Mostly because their mood impacts the quality of customer service they provide.

While work isn’t traditionally known as the place to have a good time, there are three ways you can make sure your staff is happy and fulfilled while at work.

Value genuine relationships: Connectedness among employees helps to prevent feelings of isolation, burnout and stress. Make time to host team-building activities outside of the workplace and provide opportunities for professional growth.

Keep communication flowing: An open line of communication with employees helps them to feel supported and more engaged in their work. Encourage collaboration opportunities across teams and incorporate an open door and mailbox policy for employees to drop by and chat or just drop off a note instead.

Be transparent: Open and honest leadership can create a sense of belonging. In the same way that you share the company’s goals and performance with your staff, bring them in on some of the decision-making, especially when it will impact them. Transparency within the business also prevents misunderstanding and rumors.

While fostering a work culture where your team is free from chaos and excited to be there is far from easy, in the long run, the work is an investment that will yield joyous attitudes, exceptional work and your business running like a well-oiled machine.

The Small Business Communications Time Suck is Real

The Small Business Communications Time Suck is Real

Yes, communication is vital, but is it eating up all your whole day? Take back those hours now!