By Rachael Higginbotham
Across the country, kids have hung up their swimsuits and replaced them with backpacks and soccer cleats. The days start earlier and are filled with opportunities to learn and grow, the afternoons are filled with activities, and the evenings are filled with homework. There’s not a lot of excess time, which makes organization critical.
As every parent knows, an efficient morning routine is the foundation for a successful day. No one enjoys scrambling around to find school clothes and gear. It’s also important to know who is responsible for each task, so that each person has specific responsibilities. Each night, the kids lay out their clothes, pack their school bags and after school gear, and generally prepare for the next day. Each morning, I make breakfast, the kids get themselves ready, our son feeds the dog, and my husband takes them to school. There’s no stepping over each other, no arguing about who forgot to feed the dog, just quiet productivity as we get ourselves out the door.*
It’s taken years of trial and error, but there are two keys to this in our house:
- First, everyone knows what their role is.
- Second, everyone has the tools they need to do their jobs.
My husband knows he has to get up earlier than me and make the coffee. My son knows where to find the dog food. My daughter knows which day of the week is dance, and which day is soccer, and her clothes are clean and in her closet so she can pack her bags herself. Everyone knows exactly what is expected of them, and has the items they need to do their jobs.
Thinking about how efficient morning routines help families be more productive got me thinking about how marketing departments can help their firms be more productive in growth efforts too. A good cup of coffee and free scones in the breakroom at your office are a great start, but they will only take you so far.
Is your firm scrambling around trying to figure out how to approach prospective clients? Do you know who is responsible for what, and have they been taught how to do those things? Have you given your doer-sellers the tools they need to be self-sufficient, or are you still holding their hands by creating materials for every meeting? In our firm, we try to stay organized through monthly pipeline meetings so everyone knows what everyone else is working on, centralizing proposals so they are consistent, conducting annual business development training, and using POUNCE for accurate, timely materials that can be compiled by anyone in our firm.
Think about the “chaos” in your growth efforts, and create a plan to tackle them one at a time. If there’s anything we can do to help, give us a shout. But, not before we’ve had our coffee. Because even with a peaceful start to the day, we still require caffeine.
*Note: just to be clear, organization does not equal utopia. My daughter and I are not morning people, so sometimes there are tears involved (mostly mine). It’s just not due to lack of organization.
Rachael Higginbotham is the Marketing Director for Postlethwaite & Netterville. With over 15 years of marketing and consulting experience—including a decade in the world of accounting marketing—her strengths include marketing strategy, business development coaching and support, ROI development, brand management and strategic corporate projects.