Spring Cleaning by Scott Newton

Spring Fever.  This idiom is a way of describing that feeling of restlessness and eagerness to get on with things that often accompany the close of winter and the onset of spring.  Reading between the lines, it also insinuates a desire to take action and move forward with some level of excitement and freshness.

The question begs how much of a sense of urgency do you have as a business owner or manager to drive change now vs. allowing circumstances to evolve in their natural course of action.  Here we are 13 months, really, post any pandemic related volume surge that gave us carte blanche (rightly so to an extent) to drown in the daily minutia of running the business rather than focusing on more strategic issues that will impact us for years to come.  Staff recruiting and retention, workplace organizational health, proactive financial management of increasing expenses, creative pricing ideas and growth opportunities likely have not received as much attention as they have – at least proactively.

Our industry allows us to move slowly.  It is really hard to go out of business swiftly and decisively in funeral service. It takes criminal activity to make that happen, not reactive management.  However, those owners, executives and managers who identify market and staffing opportunities and move more quickly than others will separate their businesses from the also-rans as we move forward.  Challenge yourself to identify no more than 5 critical success factors in your business this year that require time sensitive implementation by December 31, 2023.  Realize a few things:

  1. To execute and implement you can not allow yourself to be dragged down in the daily minutia of operations and staffing.  You have to be protective of your time.  It’s a precious commodity.
  2. Delegation is a critical element of executive execution.  How good are you at identify tasks to delegate and training others to do them?
  3. Set firm timelines for completion and find a 3rd party to hold yourself accountable to staying on track.
  4. Wisely plan out your goals around the reality of workplace ebbs and flows.  Focus on Proactive Time Management.  For example, it’s difficult to work on projects during the summer when the entire staff is rotating through vacations.  Same thing for end of the year – once Mid-November hits it is very difficult to focus on project implementation.  Therefore, plan your work-load around these less productive times.

It’s easier to know what to do than actual do it.  Ramp up your sense of urgency and accountability to deadlines and results.

Scott Newton

President, Graystone Associates