John Knight: Define, detox, declutter

At the beginning of the year most people think about how they can cleanse their body and start the new year on the right foot. John Knight says you should do the same with your business. Here, he explains why the detox is important and what areas you should tackle first.

Just like your body, it’s funny how different toxins can build up within your business without you noticing. 

We saw many real estate businesses cleanse themselves of a whole range of unnecessary toxins in 2020 and 2021, but with this Covid thing dragging on longer than any of us wanted, have distractions, bottlenecks, and headaches crept back into your business?

Is it time for another detox?

Here are the top things to cleanse from your real estate business as you head into 2022.

Toxic team members

There is nothing that will undermine your strategy and vision more than a misaligned team member.

The gossiper. The disrupter. The gorilla.

The guy with the bad energy that, no matter what is happening in the business, will always have a negative version of events.

Your people are the heart of the business – do not tolerate team members that undermine your culture or, even more importantly, your values.

Toxic clients

We have all taken on a vendor, landlord or tenant that we now know we shouldn’t have.

But, when a client goes rogue and starts to abuse your team or are forever changing their mind, maybe it is time for a client cleanse.

There are many schools of thought on approaching a client cleanse, but my preferred starting point is asking the team they hate working with and to define their ideal client.

Usually, these clients are the ones that make them tense up when they see their number calling on the phone.

Silent shareholders

Many people set up a business with a silent shareholder due to funding restraints.

They are not necessarily a toxin in your business (because they helped you make it happen), but, over time, the need for those silent shareholders may diminish.

If you are starting to build resentment towards them, then maybe it’s time to realign your individual goals and consider a buyout or change in arrangements that are fair and equitable to everyone.

Just start with a discussion, but tread carefully; there is no need to blow everything up.

Too many options

Whether it be marketing packages, salesperson commission structures or pricing options, every time you add a new option into the mix, you have just added a whole layer of complexity and confusion. 

Revert to ‘keep it simple stupid’ to streamline your business inside and out.

Surplus subscriptions

When was the last time you reviewed the monthly subscriptions going through your bank account?

Often, we subscribe to something with the best intentions but never use it or forget about it.

At least every 12 months, run your finger down the bank statements and unsubscribe from any surplus subscriptions.

Redundant reports

I’m a big advocate of putting together a standard report pack for management each month, but over time some of those reports they once asked for are no longer needed.

Maybe management doesn’t realise how much effort you put into producing that one graph, or perhaps the focus has moved on from one issue to another.

Now and then, check in with management to see what reports they use and make the others redundant.

Unnecessary steps

Are there steps in your processes that are no longer necessary or could be streamlined through integrating or tweaking the systems?

Draw a picture of your process and challenge yourself to devise ways to remove a couple of steps and make your business more efficient.

Broken systems and bottlenecks

Like the human body, when one of the organs is not working properly, it can impact your body’s efficiency.

If your digestive system is not working as well as it should, your energy levels will drop, and it becomes harder to do what was once easy.

Find and eliminate any bottlenecks or and declutter clunky processes that are holding the team back.

If 2020 and 2021 created the urgency for change, then now, when the industry is thriving, is the time to keep change going and not rest on our laurels.

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John Knight

John Knight is the Managing Director of businessDEPOT, a team of energetic accountants and advisors.