The Biz of Pacelinebiz

Turning things on end to achieve results!

Business Lessons From…Voting

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Lessons are found everywhere

Lessons are found everywhere

Over the last several years, I have written 25 topics with a tag or sub-category of Business Lessons. Many have a title that begins with “Business lessons from…”  I am pleased with this concept which I have stumbled upon.  Many are lessons learned which I have observed as they played out in front of me.    

Today, the lesson is to be aware of what you see and to keep that small business owner hat on at all times.  As you go about your day at work or after business hours, pay attention to what you like and dislike about your interactions with other businesses.  There is a good chance you may be doing some of the same things – both good and bad.  Keep and enhance the good and correct and improve the bad.

Let me leave you with an example of a lesson I learned while voting this past November.  I decided that I would participate in early voting this year to avoid the expected long lines on Election Day. As it turned out, this was a mistake because the lines for early voting were longer than on Election Day.  I waited for 90 minutes to vote.  As I waited, I was analyzing the process as is my nature. 

As I evaluated the situation, it became clear the problem was the election workers could not keep the voting machines full.  The line was very long and weaved its way to an initial set of tables that had the voting form that needed to be completed.  Once the form was completed you moved to another line to wait for a person who would enter your information into a computer and issue you a card to insert into the touch screen voting machine. To move things along much quicker they should have had clip boards with the forms to be given to people closest to the front of the line so that the first table of election workers would only review the forms for accuracy and move the voters along quicker to the second table.  By only doing a review of the already completed form, they could have diverted extra people to entering the data into the computers that issued the voting card.  There were times when only half of the 8 voting machines were being used while people waited to get their voting card.   We should have taken advantage of the waiting time to have our form already completed!  This was frustrating to me and many others.

The business lesson we need to learn from this is we are only as strong as the weakest link in our chain. Do I know exactly what the problem was with the voting process?  I probably do not know the entire problem.  There may be certain regulations or other information I may not know.  The idea is there was definitely a bottleneck the needed to be fixed – the weak link. What is your weak link?  Take some time in the coming weeks of this New Year and do an honest assessment of your business.  Is your weak link in processing new orders or is it in fulfilling them?  It doesn’t matter if you are filling a prescription or stamping out widgets in a manufacturing facility.    Can you imagine if that long line was full of customers trying to buy your product or service?  How long would you be in business if that was the case?

Have a good week eliminating the weak.  Your weak link, that is.

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Written by pacelinebiz

January 14, 2013 at 8:45 am

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