Perfect timing and cunning plans!

I’ve just finished setting up another happy business with G Suite. It’s fun work, I find it easy to do and the best part, it’s immensely satisfying!

One of my favourite TV programs when I was a kid was the A Team. After a successful mission, often fraught with mayhem and craziness, John “Hannibal” Smith, would state with a big smile on his face “I love it when a plan comes together!

The A Team

Now I’m not saying that what I do is as exciting as an episode of the A Team, there’s no explosions or car chases! But I do get immense joy when I help people find a better way of working.

Often the first conversation is because something is broken or some-one thinks – there just must be, a better way. Either by referral or thanks to Google, the business owner ends up on my website and if they like what they see they get in touch. I organise a quick chat to find out some more info.

Strong Foundations

To be honest, most businesses would see a bigger and more beneficial impact by just getting some foundational technology systems in place.

Like:

  • a decent email system like Gmail
  • an online quoting tool like Quotient
  • cloud accounting software, Xero of course! Please, please, please, no more invoices in Word, it’s 2019!
  • 2 screens on every desk – why do people squint and hunch over such small screens still?
  • everything accessible, securely of course, on mobile phones. Most people work outside of the office and if they don’t, one day they will need to for any number of reasons
  • a password manager like LastPass. Most business’s information security is terrible and crappy passwords, often shared, is a disaster waiting to happen
  • instant messaging like Slack because email is not for conversations!

Anyway, let’s assume they have the foundations or want my help with that too, then my brain goes into overdrive. And I can’t help but start putting together a cunning plan! (No I don’t wear a disguise like Hannibal for 1st contact!)

We’re not quite ready yet

Sometimes it’s too early, my potential client doesn’t want a cunning plan to be rescued. They’re just thinking about changing. They don’t know what’s possible, they don’t have the time, the money needs to be invested elsewhere, they’re anxious of changing, they don’t know who to trust, the current system’s not perfect but it works (most of the time), etc, etc , it’s a minefield! And I try and remember all of this. So I answer their questions and try not to scare them off with too much enthusiasm. My starting point is always, let’s assess your current systems and then we can start putting a plan together. And if now’s not a good time, then I’m keen to help when the time is right.

It’s all gone to sh*t!

Sometimes it’s too late, the worst case has happened. The current AKA ‘ancient’, not perfect system, has crashed. It’s one time too many, or at the worst time possible. Or there’s been a compromise of the current (who would want to hack us?) system and the proverbial has hit the fan and pebble-dashed the room, or even worse, their customers! And that’s when you really need a plan. But that’s another blog post. I really don’t like those kind of projects because it always feels like you’re charging money for helping when it’s all gone to shit. There’s so many unknowns, time is against you and you have to charge by the hour, often out of hours, and no one is really happy at the end of it. No thanks. But by all means, have a plan for when it does happen, who will you ring, what needs fixing first? etc etc. Again another blog post.

Perfect timing

BUT, when the timing is right, boy is it satisfying. The client is ready to change. They have the time to tell me about everything I need to know to do my job properly. They have the time to introduce me to other people in their team that can help. They have the time to review the plan I come up with. Normally cunning I might add!

They have the time to get excited about a new way of working. Best of all they want it to happen. And there’s nothing faster or more impactful than a business owner making a decision, shit actually happens! And even if the plan turns out to be going wrong or sideways, guess what, you can work out why. Because now you have more info. And it’s easier to make another fast decision. This is how change happens.

And then after the dust settles and everyone feels like they’ve been part of the journey, we all get to smile and say “I love it when a plan comes together!

Digital transformation, business transformation, new systems, workflow efficiency, app integrations, “I want a system that just works”, “there must be a better way” – whatever change you are looking for in your business, if you’d like a chat about putting a cunning plan together, I’d love to help!

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