Have you stood on the bank of a wooded brook and noticed the flow of the beautiful clear stream? The water is fresh and cold and flows easily and effortlessly down the stream — that is, until a small piece of debris reduces the flow ever so slightly.
Over time, more and more twigs, leaves, old beer cans, pieces of rubbish, and fishing lines collect on the fragments. Before long, the flow of the stream changes course making its way around the debris. In some cases, the flow of the water erodes the riverbank and alters the current of the stream.
Business is a lot like the logjam. Most of the time, business flows smoothly. That is, until one project you intend to address starts a logjam that’s difficult to come back from.
The project creating the snag is generally one near and dear to the growth strategy of your business. It’s nothing simple that can be easily addressed to keep your business flowing along its natural and healthy boundaries. It’s an initiative or project that requires time (yours) and brain cells (yours) to strategically fit into your business’ growth plan.
While it awaits your attention, more and more tasks, projects, and to-dos collect. Like fragments collecting on a logjam, before you know it, you have a stoppage that slows your growth and unintentionally changes the direction of your business.
Breaking The Small Business Log Jam – It’s Not That Simple
Although it may appear to be as easy as clearing the original obstruction, clearing a business logjam isn’t that simple. When business is moving fast— and who’s isn’t — projects and plans pile up at an astonishing rate. As they collect, more requests and demands press everything together making action impossible. You’re stuck. And so is your business growth!
Once a backlog of activity is generated, this simple feat can require all hands on deck. To avoid “calling in the cavalry”, here are a few steps you can implement:
- Clear a logjam as quickly as possible. When you sense a slowdown brewing, set a timeframe of 24 – 48 hours to address and discharge the primary obstruction.
- Evaluate and implement techniques to keep business flowing. What’s the definition of insanity? That’s right — “Doing the same thing and expecting different results.” If logjams of work continually impact your business, you need a different system. Find one and install it.
- Delegate what and where you can. If you’re the cause of the backup, you need help. Don’t bottlenecking your business growth! Locate others, inside and outside, of your business to whom you can assign portions of the work. Delegation frees you up to keep projects moving.
It’s common for many entrepreneurs to consider a backlog of business a temporary situation — one that can be caught up on over the weekend or by working longer hours. That’s rarely the situation.
A logjams, in a way, is a sign your business is growing beyond its current capacity. Embrace it and address it before it changes the direction you intend to flow.