Episode 130

Episode 130: Decluttering Your Business for More Time and Money

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What you’ll learn in this episode:

As our businesses grow, we can accumulate a lot of physical and digital clutter in our businesses. Decluttering not only improves efficiency and saves time, but it increases our ability to become more profitable. After working with hundreds of clients around growth, and growing my own business, I’ve identified that there are a handful of areas in your business where we create clutter that significantly slows down our growth and adds “bloat” to our business. By streamlining these areas, businesses can optimize their operations, enhance customer experiences, and ultimately achieve faster and more robust levels of growth.

Today we walk through each of these areas of clutter and talk about what you can do to declutter things in this area and set yourself up for a smoother business and increased growth. Take a listen!

In this episode, you will learn to:

  • Why your human capital is one of the most important areas of your business, and how optimizing your workforce utilization can lead to significant time and cost savings.
  • Why efficient use and selection of technology systems can lead to unnecessary expenses, operational inefficiencies, and poor customer experiences, and how decluttering it can increase effectiveness and reduce costs.
  • How establishing centralized and well-organized systems for storing and accessing information can enhance productivity, simplify workflows, and improve overall business performance.

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[00:01]

Hello, everyone, and welcome back. I’m so excited to talk to you this week about clutter in your business. Is this ringing a bell for some people? Do you feel like your business is cluttered, I’m going to guess that many of you listening to this do and you feel like there’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of clutter and it feels bogged down. And I want to share with you that after looking at hundreds of businesses and looking at more and more of them every day, I will share that when we peel back the hood. And we’re looking for growth opportunities. And we’re looking at offers and we’re looking at all the things so that we can see where the best opportunities are for growth in businesses, one of the things that we often discover is a lot of clutter. If this is you don’t feel bad, I believe this is one of the natural byproducts of growing and especially growing quickly or have a business that’s been around for a long time. It’s kind of like living in a house for a long time you just accumulate things. And often we don’t take the time to look at all those things and really clear out the clutter.

[01:05]

But what I want to offer is that decluttering your business is one of the fastest ways to find time and money. It is one of the things that really slows us down zaps us of our energy makes our business inefficient, and frankly, costs us a whole lot of time and money. Whether it’s headache, sanity, you know, sometimes it’s just support, like tech support. And it also just cost us a lot of money. For many of us, especially online businesses, it is in software, if you’re a brick and mortar, it’s in all of those other things that you have in your, you know, in your store or in your physical location that can really just make the space not that enjoyable. And never mind finding anything and being able to be nimble and work easily. It’s just really cluttered. So I want to share with you where I’m seeing most of this clutter. And here is the great news. It’s really not that hard to declutter, I think one of the most important pieces is understanding where that clutter is hiding. When it’s right in front of you, you get bugged by it, and you often deal with it and you clean it up. But clutter can be kind of stealth, for lack of a better word, it kind of lurks there under the surface.

[02:22]

And for many of us in more of a digital space, or if we’re playing in a digital space, it can kind of hide, right, it’s like these little pixels somewhere hanging out out there, you don’t really see it. So that clutter, especially digitally can be hanging out there under the surface really bogging things down. And we don’t even know what’s happening. So I want to walk you through some of the areas where I see this clutter, really kind of accumulating. And I want to offer to you that if you want to find time and money and profit in your business decluttering is one of the very best ways to do that. And you don’t have to be sort of a rocket scientist to do this, you can hire people to help you with this. Or you can even just take the time to really intentionally make space to look at this and move through it and get rid of what you don’t need and streamline what you have, and really make things work so much easier. And it feels so much lighter. It’s like that ticket to freedom, we feel like we’re in control of our life in control of our business. And truthfully we are. So it’s just a really great exercise. But it’s one of those things that can really bog us down and it can just make for a heavier load and you’re kind of walking around with this thing on your back.

[03:34]

Well, here’s the thing, you don’t need to do that. And by dealing with it, you’re really going to open up all of this space and, and energy for your business. So where are the places that we see the most clutter?

[03:46]

Okay, number one is in people. It’s in people or people that we hire, where we have either multiple roles and responsibilities, lack of clarity around roles, responsibilities, capabilities that overlap skill levels that overlap where we’re paying for all of these people. And or we’re needing to manage all of these people that live within our business. Now, this could be a W two employee, it could be a contractor. But the bottom line is we are like accumulating human resources people with the idea that this is going to help actually save us time and money. And we spend a lot of money and time managing all of these people in a way that we don’t need to. So one of the things I want to offer to you is, are you someone who feels like you’re spending a lot of money on overhead and people and you don’t feel like you’re making a lot of money or that amount of expenses just creeping up and you always feel like you’re hiring someone like it’s going to they’re going to be the silver bullet. If that’s you There’s probably a high likelihood that you have a lot of clutter around your personnel. And one of the fastest ways to look at that and really understand and streamline and optimize that is to get really clear on what it is that you’re working on, what are those projects and tactics? And, you know, workstreams that you need support on? And who is doing what, what are these people actually spending their time on? Why did you hire them? What is the return on the investment of spend for what it is that you’re having them do? And is this really making sense? Or is there a lot of redundancy and overlap in there.

[05:38]

I want to also pause and say that when it comes to human capital, there’s a lot of different feelings about streamlining and using less people or laying people off or, you know, automating things that replace people. And I want to offer to you that when you look at the clutter around your people, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to get rid of them. Now, you might find that there are some people that you don’t need, or maybe you no longer need, or there’s some redundancy where you might not need to have all those people as part of your organization. But a lot of times what happens is actually you look at it. And when you declutter, you’re really just organizing them in an efficient way. And it opens up the ability for you to use your human capital, for the best things in your business that you actually need. And utilizing those people in the best way is actually the thing that gives you high ROI, when it’s inefficient and cluttered. And there’s redundancy, and people don’t know exactly what they’re responsible for, and their roles and responsibilities are not clear. That is when it becomes very inefficient. And it sucks a lot of time and your energy. But when you can look at it and really declutter it, organize it, figure out in what ways can you utilize people that make sense for your business, but also allows them to thrive? Because one of the things that I have found with people with human capital is people want to do really good work. And if you hire well, they’re really capable. So how do you get the most out of it, that benefits your business, you and them, it’s like win-win-win all the way around.

[07:16]

So decluttering around your people is an incredible way. And it’s such a rewarding way to help your business really grow and to help it help you find that time and money that’s actually buried under all the clutter of people in a way that is really going to set you free. So what does your personnel, you know, look like? What are people doing? Are you using them efficiently? isn’t really giving you more time and money? Is that the return on this investment of personnel that you’re actually getting? For many people? The answer is no. And people tend to sort of hire quickly with this idea that is going to save them. And then they fire slowly, or they reallocate very slowly. And that can be really sort of a kiss of death for your business. Because people, they usually are one of the highest expenses in your business. So you want to leverage that asset, the most efficiently that you can, and decluttering that. So where can you look today at your personnel, declutter that, organize it, and get it working for you, and also working for them in the best way possible. So people are one of the most cluttered parts of an organization that I see.

[08:31]

Another place where I see a lot of clutter, and I will say before I even tell you what it is, that I have been so guilty of this. And in some ways, I am sometimes still. But that is clutter around your systems and software, when it comes to purchasing technology and software, because it’s not a physical thing, like somebody’s sitting in an office next to you, or somebody sort of on the other side of the phone or slack, this can just pile up and pile up and pile up. I cannot even explain to you how much money I was spending on technology at one point in time in my business. And it really took me to get really clear and really intentional around what am I using every single one of these things for? And not just how many pieces of software do you have? But as many of us know, when it comes to technology, there’s different levels of technology. So in what capacity are you paying for this technology or software for and do you need it? And making those decisions in a very intentional and pragmatic and organized way is super important? Because when it spins out of control, it becomes a huge headache because things are living in cyberspace in all of these places. And it also becomes a huge spend, not to mention you need to manage the technology. So when you’re using all of these different pieces of software for example, you have to know how to use it. So there’s a learning curve. And there’s a way in which it needs to be built and manage in order for you to pull the information you need easily.

[10:10]

Also, if it’s customer interfacing, that customer experience is also really important. And when it gets out of control, or there’s so many different places you’re sending people, it can be very clunky, and very, you know, inefficient and not enjoyable. And people really value the user experience, everyone is busy, and they want something that’s simple. So when you start adding all these things into the mix, make it difficult for them, if they have to start learning new things. And this is true of your internal team to it really sucks up time and energy, and it sucks up a lot of money. So are you someone who has a bajillion pieces of tech and software? Do you buy those things with the idea that it’s going to actually make your life easier, but you’re never really using that software to the best of your ability? If I asked you what were the software and, you know, technology pieces that you have, and that you need to use on a daily basis to run your business? Would you rattle off a list of 50 things. If it’s, no shame, it just means there’s a lot of clutter around your software, and your technology in your business. And you want to look at that. Because it’s costing you time and money, it’s making you work less efficiently. And it’s just not an easy thing to manage, especially as you grow, you want to be able to go to a few places you want those things to be working for you in a robust way. You want to be spending your money various efficiently. And again, with that idea of a high ROI, what are you getting for this spend?

[11:40]

And the more you declutter that the less you have again, like less is more, the better and more efficient you will be at being able to generate time and money in your business. So I want you to think about your technology today, you know, make a list, what are you paying for? What are you using? And what are you not using? Right? Make that list? And then really look at it? Like how much am I using this? Is there redundancy here? Can I declutter some of this and get rid of some of that stuff and migrate different things over here? You know, how many people do I need to manage this, you want to look at all of those things, and you want to declutter it and organize it. And really, you know, let it open, open up all the space for you and your business. And frankly, more than likely your clients because it will streamline everything for everybody. So that’s another area.

[12:28]

And the last area, like last but not least, is the repositories of files and information that you have in your business. This is a big one, especially as we’ve moved from, hey, I’m going to store everything on my computer, were in some way, your computer’s ability to hold information, you know, that space that you had on your computer kind of kept you in check, because at some point, you’re gonna run out of space, right? All that storage was just not infinite. But now with the advent of the cloud, and terabytes and terabytes of space, in this seemingly like invisible, web, right, creates so much cyber clutter. And it also creates an infinite number of places for you to store things. So are you somebody who, you know, is using Google Drive, and then you’re using, you know, the Verizon cloud, and then you’ve got things on your desktop? And there’s this other place where you’re storing it in clickup? And, you know, are you this person who has stuff everywhere, and it’s everywhere. And it’s sort of kind of cluttered and haphazardly thrown in all these places, that when it comes to finding the information, or the files, or the template, or whatever it is that you need, it’s nearly impossible. You have to go on this super sleuthing mission to actually find it.

[13:56]

And it takes you a day and a half to actually unearth that thing. If you have a client interface, is it simple? Are they going to one place to get what they need? Are you able to give them what they need in a quick way? Because your repository of information or tools or resources are in one place? If not, no, you are not alone, it is so easy for us to just again, throw files in random places, name them in all different ways, like nomenclature is another area of opportunity for people is this stuff sort of everywhere. And again, we move so quickly. And we’re just putting things in places that we think it’s going to actually save us time. Like we don’t have time to organize this or make it pretty or put it in one place because we just don’t have the time. But what that thought is creating for us in our business is less time because at some point, you’re going to need the thing. So either you’re going to spend the time to keep your repository of information, organized and clear. are an uncluttered or you’re going to clutter it, and you’re going to need to find the time later on, you’re going to spend that time anyway, either you’re going to spend the time looking for the thing, you’re going to spend the time making up for lost ground that you’re creating, with the people out there that you’re working with, who need the thing and aren’t able to get it to you.

[15:17]

So now it’s kind of eroding that trust, or you’re going to recreate the thing, because you can’t find it. I mean, total sidenote, how many people have been in a situation where they’re like, I just need the phillips head screwdriver, I know I have one, where the heck is it, and you like, spend 15 minutes looking for this thing, can’t find it, and you go back to Ace Hardware and you buy another one. And then lo and behold, you have five Phillips screwdrivers. Because at the end of the day, if you had just had a system to organize it and a repository like all of my tools go in this one place, you would have saved all that time and energy and all the money from buying multiple screwdrivers. I know that sounds like such a ridiculous example. But many of us can relate to it. And it’s not just screwdrivers, it’s like all the things, I could go through a laundry list of things in my house where this happens sometimes.

[16:07]

So the more decluttered your area can be, the more streamlined it is the things that are really important go in one place, you’re not utilizing all these different things. Another place where people have a huge repository of stuff is in email, and now it’s becoming slack, right, they’re storing things in Slack, we want to get out of the habit of that clutter, because it really slows us down. It actually consumes a ton of our time. Even though in our mind, we think we’re saving time I just like moving on. Because the thought we have is we don’t have the time for this. But we’re actually creating a bigger lack of time, by creating this clutter around the repository of our information, a business that is nimble and is able to grow and is able to service their customers in an efficient and robust way is really organized around their information, whether it’s resources or information or, or products, or whatever it is. It’s really decluttered. And you want to have that in your business too. So is this one of those places that’s sort of gotten out of control. And it’s kind of haphazard and everywhere. And they’re all kind of thrown together and cluttered in these places? How do you declutter that, and bring it all into one organized place that everyone in your organization knows about, and you’re all kind of working out of that same repository of information. So that’s another place where I see again, a lot of these things.

[17:33]

And if we kind of go back to the bigger picture of, you know, striving for excellence, growing, optimizing your offers for profits, optimizing your business, for profit by doing very intentional focus things in a very powerful and excellent way. These things around it, that whole ecosystem around it that’s supporting that needs to be decluttered, it needs to be really on point. And running that to support you know, your offers your growth, and your business in that capacity is really important.

[18:03]

So again, to recap this, where are these areas where we are seeing a lot of clutter? And how do you declutter your business to find time and money in your business? Here are the three top areas I’m seeing. So number one is around your human capital around your people? Are you hiring a bunch of people where there’s not clear roles and responsibilities, it’s redundant. People don’t know exactly what they’re doing. And you’re just kind of plugging people in a place to try to have find that silver bullet to fix things. You know, creating clutter within your personnel slows your business down costs you a lot of time and money. So how do you declutter that, streamline it, organize it so we can actually produce more time and money, which is often why we hire people to begin with? So how do you do that? How do you create that win win win win for you win for your business and win for the people that are working for you by decluttering your human resources. And again, it doesn’t mean you have to let people go, you can just reallocate them, you can utilize them to the best of what it is that they’re capable for. That makes sense for your organization. And sometimes it does mean that maybe there are some people you don’t need in the organization. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to let people go just means you organize them, and you use them to the best of their abilities and utilize them as a really powerful asset in your business.

[19:21]

The second place is around your technology, your systems and all of that software for us, many of us and we’re all playing in the digital space. Some of us really are digital and online in a very big way, versus the people that I help that are brick and mortar. But either way, we’re all touching software and technology in some way. This is an area that can get super cluttered, super redundant cost us a ton of money. And people they just don’t have a good handle on that. So what is that list of things that you are actually paying for? Are you using all of them? Do you need to use all of them? Is there redundancy there? Can you organize that and streamline that and declutter that? so that it’s setting you free. The more software and technology you have, the more you have to manage, the more you have to support. It takes a lot of time and energy and never mind the spin. When you add all that stuff up. You don’t want to do that in a loose way, you want to make sure that’s tight, and decluttered. And so that’s another area that we I see as business grows, they really get out of control. And as I mentioned, that was an area for me where I was super heavy and bogged down, and I just had to clean all that up.

[20:28]

The last but not least area is your repository for information, tools, or resources. We all have things in our business that we are utilizing. It can be a physical product in a physical space, it can be a digital product, it can be templates, it can be resources, where are they living. This is an area where people get out of control their stuff on the clouds or stuff on their computer, their stuff stored in their email, their stuff stored in their slack messages, it becomes a huge problem, and it becomes a mess and it becomes cluttered and hugely inefficient. So how do you declutter that, and free yourself up to really manage your business more efficiently, let the business run more efficiently, let the customer experience be more efficient, and really save all of that time and money and create a ton of time and money on the backend. And so organizing that making sure that it’s not cluttered, and streamlined and efficient, is essential for making sure that your business is nimble, and it’s running smoothly. And it can continue to grow in an easy way.

[21:30]

And everything that touches that all of these pieces are the ecosystem, whether it’s people, whether it’s software and technology, whether it is repositories of information, literally folders, they are all living in the ecosystem of your business, they surround your offer, they surround the things that you put out there to the world. And so in order for you to have a robust, nimble and thriving business, all these pieces need to be really intact. And clutter in that ecosystem just really zaps you of your energy and zaps you of your money in time, which is what we don’t want. So decluttering that really sets you free. And it gives you a lot more space. We often physically feel lighter. It’s a phenomenal thing. When we declutter, it is an energetic experience. And anyone who’s ever lived in a cluttered space or, you know, finally cleaned up their office after it’s been a mess for months, you can physically feel it. It has a profound effect on how we feel physically. I also want to offer that if you’re cluttered, like if your business is cluttered, your head gets cluttered, when your head is cluttered, and you’re cluttered, your clients feel cluttered, all of these things are intertwined. And I know that sounds a little woowoo. But it is absolutely true.

[22:46]

Everything in our environment is energetic in some capacity. And so what you internalize, you also then put out into the universe you put out to your customers. And so we can really feel that if we feel chaotic and cluttered, we create chaos and clutter in the things that we do. And so it’s one of the quickest ways to really streamline your business, to open it up for all of the space and time and energy is in the decluttering. So I’m excited for you to go and look at your business. I want to also reiterate, this is not a judgment call. It’s not like oh my gosh, everything is such a mess. If you’re growing and thriving, these are the natural byproducts of growth, it means you have been doing amazing things. I mean, you’ve been helping people. And you haven’t had time to sit around all day and make labels and like do all that stuff to organize your business maybe and these things have accumulated. That’s normal. And I would think of it as a badge of honor, honestly, because it means you’re going places and doing things. And that’s awesome. But now it’s time to just clean it up a little bit. And it will be time well spent. And so I can’t wait to watch all of you thrive and see what you uncover. And again, as I said earlier, sometimes when we are in it, it’s very difficult for us to see it. And so that is the beauty of bringing people in to help you look at your business, hiring people to help you declutter or organize or streamline things because that’s their area of expertise. It’s all part of the growth and taking yourself to the next level and making your business and you even more excellent. So until next week, everyone I cannot wait to hear all the success stories. Have a great day.