Some of the best advice you’ll ever get is the stuff that goes against the grain, against all logic, against every fiber in your being. “Be calm if you encounter a bear,” “if you love them, let them go,” and “in case of an emergency, walk–don’t run–to the nearest exit” come to mind. These words of wisdom go against basic human inclination, and yet they’re inarguably important to know. This kind of advice goes for business mistakes as well.
Logic tells businesses and employees that they should sprint forward whenever possible, without allowing for mental fatigue and burnout. The result is a vacillation between effort overkill and apathetic shoulder shrugging from employees. Work 12 hours or cut out early. Cram in as many meetings as the week allows or hide in an office feigning a conference call until people grow suspicious.
An even, measured level of effort and expectation would help management and employees alike but reining in over-eagerness seemingly goes against good business sense.
Business Mistakes and How to Prevent Them
The team at BQE works with a lot of firms, so to help you and your firm prevent common business mistakes, here are some of the habits that always seem to be present in firms where employees are overworked and unhappy.
Checking Email First Thing in the Morning
Unless you want your clients dictating how the rest of your day will be, stop doing this. Instead, start your day with a list of projects you want to accomplish. Check yesterday’s list. Consolidate them. Once you’re done hammering out the outline for the day, contact your team and consultants, and fill them in. Grab some coffee, enough to make it worth your while, and then start digging through your email.
Meeting with Project Managers Monthly
Too much time between important events can be disastrous. Anyone who has ignored their dentist’s suggestion to return within 6 months knows that.
Monthly meetings leave too much time between critical discussions. Time during which your employees and managers can astound you with how much got lost in translation initially. Companies that meet once a week have fewer fires to put out and surprises to deal with. If your project managers are ridiculously busy, do 15 minute stand-up meetings in the kitchen if you have to, just to touch base on project updates. Not doing so will result in delays, confusion and lost revenue. And cornering them in the kitchen will undoubtedly ensure they’ll start making time in their office for you.
Believing There are 8 Hours in a Work Day
It’s a nice thought, like most unreasonable and idealistic thoughts are. Be logical with your expectations and let your staff have two hours unplanned/unaccounted for to catch up on emails and unforeseen tasks. If you want an engineer to work on a project for 30 hours, book him for six hours a day, for five days, instead of eight hours over four days. That way, the work will actually get done in the number of hours assigned, plus he’ll still respond to emails and jump on any 11th hour tasks assigned to him. This will make a huge difference in stress level and quality of work.
Setting Annual Goals
You can set annual goals; in fact, please do. But you need to set monthly and even weekly goals too. Whether it’s increasing your client base, putting in more billable hours, or decreasing your carbon footprint—create a list of goals and offer incentives for the team that helps you achieve them.
Not Partying Enough
Yes, you read that correctly. You spend more time with colleagues than with family, so you better enjoy it! Making the company a fun place to be for your employees increases productivity, engagement and involvement. We recommend a once-a-month get-together with all employees. Or if your team works remotely, think of some fun seasonal virtual games or challenges you can do together as a group.
Using Outdated Business Management Software or Spreadsheets
We’ve all used spreadsheets before. They’re widely accessible and a go-to standard. But we all know they’re a pain to use. Not only do they take a lot of time to put together (and learn if you’re not an Excel master) they can be clunky, difficult to share, and leave so much room for error. One mistake and you’ve thrown everything.
Same goes for any outdated business management software. Business management software should make things easy for you while being so up to date that you have an all-in-one platform that takes care of your project management, time tracking, expenses, billing, accounting, and more. If you’re using outdated software that’s slowing you down, or constantly dealing with the headache known as spreadsheets, you’re making a large business mistake right there.
Prevent Business Mistakes with BQE CORE
Now that you know some of the surprising business mistakes and what you can do to prevent/fix them, let BQE CORE help you with mistake #6. Stop using spreadsheets and business management software that’s slowing you down and start using an all-in-one platform that easily manages your projects for you and saves you time and money. BQE CORE provides smart time and expense tracking, project management, accounting/billing, and more. And with our outstanding customer service, we’ll have you set up and ready to start fixing those business mistakes right away.
Don’t believe us? Try a free demo today and see why architects, engineers, and other professional services are raving about our software.