How these business leaders stay on top of their game

Looking for fresh ways to stay organized and on top of things at work? These three inspiring business owners share what works for them –and how you can apply change to your own systems. Their businesses are unique; their methods are different but they all have one thing in common – they’ve found the organizational tools that work for them.

Adam Gulla, owner, Krav Maga Northern Beaches

Tip: Maximise your mornings and ensure everyone is clear on expectations

“One key action for me is making the most of my mornings. I get up early to have “me” time. This includes exercise, meditation, and then I ask myself a few questions like, “What am I grateful for today?” says Gulla.

“I visualise my day and what I want to achieve in a meeting. Then, I’ll visualise my future and focus on my goals.”

He believes that if you do all the little things, the big things fall in place.

“I am very passionate about what I do, and good organisation is important. I set monthly KPIs for my team, have team bonding and training exercises, and professional development sessions twice a year. I believe profitability and success in the business ultimately stems from me.”

With a business that is built on a casual and contract employment model, Gulla knows that simple processes that are easy to digest are essential.

“I have created a series of videos that explain the business, the goals and the standards. As a first step for training, I get people to watch the videos and save myself explaining the same thing over and over – while also upholding the same standards and not diluting the message.” He says.

And he says one of the keys to his business success has been building and refining his processes.

“A practice which has been very effective for us is identifying patterns and creating systems, so we are not constantly repeating things. I ask my team, “Will we ever have to do this again?” and if the answer is yes, we build a system around it. For example, we regularly run our school holidays program and we now have everything associated with that set up as a check list. We create templates and core videos that create a consistency, and all you have to do is tweak the dates and add specific information.

“I want my business to get to the point where I could step away and it could maintain the same high standards and organisational structure allows anyone else to be able to step in and continue its growth and success.”

Gloria Molluso, director, The Fruitful Boxes

Tip: Identify weaknesses and use simple tools to address them

When it comes to organizing herself and her team, Mulluso, says the devil is in recording the detail.

“I have established daily routines that work for us which are business focused. For example, as soon as we receive orders we put them on our spreadsheet, so we know what’s required. We are often on the go and not in front of the computer, so we also have a whiteboard where we can quickly answer a call mid pack and write up an order. This ensures we have a workaround and aren’t relying on memory, to type it up later.”

She says her key to staying organized is knock over easy tasks as they appear and create a to-do list with bigger tasks and challenges.
“Getting our website functionality sorted was also the best organisational change we implemented when it comes to keeping us focused on profitability and growth. It added automation and saved me checking payments have arrived, which freed me up for other tasks,” she says.

Andy Sanderson, carpenter, North Harbour Building

Tip: Before you begin, set yourself up for success

For Sanderson, organisation is vital to his business model.

“Clients rely on me to complete jobs on time, within budget. Without a clear set of structures, I’d disappoint my customers and end up non-profitable,” he says.

And there are a few small changes he made to ensure the day-to-day always runs smoothly.

“I invested in proper labelling for all my tools, so everything can be identified on crowded job sites. I use one brand of power tools which means battery packs can be changed around, and they can be stacked neatly in the ute. I spend an hour every Sunday organising the ute. This means when I reach for something, I know it’s there and I can save time and money not having to stop a bigger job to get a minor supply,” he says.

Staying one step ahead and thinking about what is require for each job before he starts is another way he stays calm, cool and collected on a job site.

“I always try to be a step ahead. I work off plans a lot so before I start a job, I will get extra backup copies printed and get the main one laminated to keep it clean and protected,” he says.

“And, at the beginning of the day I write a list of what needs doing, check in with those on site and make sure there’s nothing that could be a roadblock to completing the list. At the end of the day, I grab a coffee and go through the list and check off what was done and then work out why the remaining things weren’t. If I spot a pattern, I’ll try and organise a fix to make sure things work better.

“Sometimes it’s the basics that make the most impact – plus that old favourite, prior preparation prevents poor performance – or as they say in carpentry, measure twice, cut once.”

How to become an organisational whiz:

Start by asking yourself four simple questions each day:
Ask this: “Will I do this again?”
Do this: Identify routines and create systems to save time and ensure consistency.

Ask this: “What would make this easier?”
Do this: When you find yourself struggling with a task, stop and consider what tweaks could be made to make it flow better. Whether it’s restocking ahead of time, labelling items or creating a checklist, simple fixes can create big wins.

Ask this: “What worked well today?”
Do this: Being aware of success and why it happened can often identify organisational processes that worked – meaning you can recreate them across your business.

Ask this: “Is this a low-fi task or a tech task?”
Do this: The best tools are the ones you use. Whether you’re using a whiteboard or a diary, or your smartphone or tablet, combine low-fi tools with technology ensures you have everything working for you to get your business the results you’re after.