The only thing worse than investing precious time, money, and energy into work that never gets completed or implemented is doing things that don’t need to be done at all. This includes rework due to delays or poor quality, and both things that shouldn’t be done and things that are done inefficiently.
Unneeded work is the 3rd part of a 10-part series on the top 10 ways that small businesses are leaving massive amounts of time and profit on the table in their business.
Businesses spend way too much time on unneeded work. Imagine what all that time could be invested in instead to move your business forward?
How to tell if you are doing unneeded work in your business
Here are some common ways it shows up in coaching, consulting, and digital service-based businesses:
- Rework due to delays or poor quality
- Non-value-add work due to inefficiencies
- Wrong things, wrong time
- "Gold plating"
- Unused features, functionality, and content in your programs and offers
- Completely unnecessary solutions
Let's break some of these down:
In project management there is a term called “gold plating” which is when a project team adds extra features or freebies for clients that were not part of the original scope. The intention is usually a positive one – making the customer happy - but it can have negative consequences, and both decrease the profitability of your offers and shift client expectations to expect these types of freebies in the future.
Beware of gold plating or adding unrequested work.
Unused Features, Functionality, and Content
Another version of this is doing things that cost time and expense for your team but that aren’t requested, utilized, or valued by your customers. This can include stuffing your digital program curriculum full of more content than it needs to make it appear more valuable when it will just overwhelm your clients and cause them to not take action. You don’t need 17 bonuses and to include every piece of content you ever created - less can be more, especially for a more seasoned target market who values their time above all else.
This can also look like the structure and components of your programs and offers. For example, we used to have an open office hours session in one of our programs but we found that clients either didn’t show up for it or used the time as a Q&A… so we eliminated it and added in more Q&A sessions instead.
Wrong Things, Wrong Time
This can be working on things that are not needed or important, or when you may be working on the right things but at the wrong time. Both are typically due to a lack of strategic planning.
Non-Value-Add Work Due to Inefficiencies
This can be spending time on activities that are so inefficient that they add no value. Have you ever spent an hour in a meeting and walked away thinking it was a total waste of time and could have been handled with an email? This is a classic example of non-value-add workrk. In this case, you’d want to either make the meeting really efficient and effective or eliminate it altogether.
Completely unnecessary solutions such as daily reports from your team that take a ton of time to create and review, or that may not even be reviewed at all.
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
– Peter Drucker
How to eliminate unneeded work in your business
Our signature CHuCK technique is a highly effective tool for evaluating what’s working and what isn’t in your offers and your activities so you can make key decisions on what to (C) Cut, (H) Hold, (C) Change, or (K) Keep.
🎧 Listen to episode 12 of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast to learn how to use CHuCK - The CHuCK Technique: How To Eliminate What Doesn't Help You Grow Your Business.
When you have more things to do than you have the time to do them, be sure to prioritize based on alignment and impact. The best things you can typically do are those that are high impact and low effort and aligned with your vision and goals.
If you would like to partner with someone to eliminate unnecessary complexity and simplify and scale your coaching, consulting, or service based business, that's our specialty.
Book a complimentary strategy call to see how we can support you in simplifying and scaling your business and let’s eliminate waste and find the hidden time and money in your business together. We offer both done-with-you and done-for-you solutions based on your unique needs.
by Crista Grasso
Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale. Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business. She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. She is also the founder and CVO of the Profitable Planner Co and Criscara Jewelry.