The Nitty-Gritty: Knowing The Details Of Your Business
If you don't know how things work, how can you be sure it's being done correctly… or being done at all?
I am constantly amazed by entrepreneurs who don't know the smaller details of how their businesses operate. If you don't understand the nitty-gritty of what your staff are doing on an operational level, how can you be sure that it's being done correctly? This isn't to say you should be micromanaging- not by any means. One example of this is SMEs and social media. Do you outsource your digi platforms or are they in-house? In both cases if you don't have a minimal working knowledge of how Twitter works, how can you be sure that your account is actually being utilized to its full potential? And on the flipside, how can you know when to reward the community manager for exceptional results? Have you set KPIs? Do you know your SLAs?
The amount of entrepreneurs I have met this month alone who don't even visit their own digi mediums frustrates me. You've successfully secured more funding for your startup? That's great! But are you blowing that money on ineffective in-house staff or outsourcing the work to someone who isn't actually doing it? I've seen a few examples that truly boggled my mind. Case in point: A major global media outlet wanted to cover a specific Dubai-based startup. They tweeted at the startup's account but no one responded, so they reached out to us (at Entrepreneur Middle East) knowing that we'd covered this particular startup in one of our previous editions. I did facilitate the introduction to the co-founders, but not before giving the budding "treps a dressing down about outsourcing their social media platforms with little knowledge of how active (in this case inactive) their accounts were.
Yes, they were paying a social media company a retainer to manager their platforms, and no, they weren't monitoring the progress of said social media platforms. Not only are they spending precious funds on paying someone to not do the job, but there's also the opportunity cost to consider- the coverage by this specific media outlet is invaluable in terms of global reach and advertising. That was a potential lost promotional vehicle that I can't begin to calculate the value of; it's lucky for the young company that the media outlet was interested enough to try another means of reaching out.
This is a microcosm of what it costs you as a business owner when you do not know the details of your business. Do you know what the difference is between doing the job and doing the job right? If not, it's time to educate yourself. It is, after all, costing you money. If you put a dollar value on everything that isn't being executed correctly, you'll probably find a scary figure staring you in the face. Am I just preaching? No, I recently started learning to code on CodeAcademy.com so that I could better understand the inner workings of websites.
Do I expect to be able to build a website anytime soon? No, but at least I now have a basic working knowledge of how labor-intensive the process is, and what kind of time-commitment it takes to execute things like headers, sub-headers, and image positioning. The more you know about the cogs and wheels of your business, the better you are at judging deliverables and the lack thereof.
You can reward excellence, address incompetence, and maximize your resources in the process.