Are You Aware of the Noise in Your Business?
We had a going away party last night for a small business member of our BNI referral group who is moving to LA. One of our members was nice enough to host the event at her house. After a couple of hours someone asked her if the planes flying over head bothered her. She replied, “No, it’s rare that a plane flies over our house.”
Within the next 30 minutes a total of 14 planes flew over her house! The planes were loud enough that when one did fly overhead you would either have to start screaming or pause until it passed. While our host seemed to be oblivious to this, me and another person in our group would look at each other and laugh every time a plane flew over.
Now our host is not an ignorant person nor is she hard of hearing, she’s just lived in that house for over 20 years. She’s used to the planes flying over head. It’s just part of the normal day-to-day activity!
For business owners, there can be similar “noise” in your business that you may not even be aware of because you are so close to the situation. We’ve had clients where there are partners in the business who either continually scream at each other or go weeks without talking with each other. They normally don’t think anything of it since it’s just the natural way they have communicated for so long. They are unaware of the negative impact this can have on the business from employees to customers to vendors.
How do you know if there is noise in your business? Here are a couple of things to try to discover and break through that noise:
1. Have regularly scheduled meetings with your staff. A combination of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually is best. This way your people are communicating on a regular basis about the most important things in your company.
2. Find a group of trusted peers to share your thoughts with. These groups take all different shapes and sizes, but most are modeled after what Napoleon Hill coined as “Mastermind” groups in his timeless classic Think and Grow Rich. Conversing with a group of your peers on at least a monthly basis is a great way to flush out many of these noises.
3. Read or listen to one book a month. There are all sorts of fantastic business, leadership, management, and self-help books that are available and can provide some valuable insights into your business. We keep a rolling list of some of our favorite books on our web site.
It’s a lonely place owning your own business and it’s easy to get comfortable with the “noise” that exists. One of the key roles for the owner is to be aware of and manage these noises so they don’t become a distraction or hindrance in your business. The first step is to become aware of the noise, much like those airplanes flying over our party last night.