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How a Teenager Mowing Your Lawn Relates to Scaling Your Business Successfully

Stop and think about what you could do if you had a teenager who could mow your lawn your preferred way, each and every time.  Golf, fish, relax, catch up with friends? Perhaps stand and watch the teenager mow the lawn, looking for ways to further streamline and improve the mowing process?

In fact, this teenager could also complete a number of other household tasks, consistently in your preferred manner.  Your teenager would be able to work through a list of responsibilities and duties, confident that they were not going to do it wrong and annoy you. They could complete each task efficiently without supervision, doing it right each and every time. 

I know, you think this is a fantasy.  But let’s see how this could really work, not just for the teenager in the home but for everyone.

Taking a business approach to this, I introduce you to “Household Fantasia”.

“Household Fantasia” started as a two-person household.  Through this two-person phase, there was a simple routine and it was quite easy to accomplish the required tasks and responsibilities to ensure “Household Fantasia” ran smoothly.  The two people were aware of their responsibilities and how to do things, although nothing formal was set up.

The household experienced some growth and before long “Household Fantasia” was a bustling household of four people.  The two household managers were trying to manage the household in the same manner of when they were a two-person household even though the responsibilities and tasks had significantly increased.  They had lost control over their household.  They were becoming frustrated (especially the General Manager) as they knew there had to be a better, more efficient way of managing the household but they couldn’t find the time to actually attempt to streamline and formalise the running of their household.  They also felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start.

The GM was constantly covering most of the jobs and became frequently frustrated with the other householders.  The GM could not leave the household, not even for a night, for fear that the household would fall apart. 

The householders were becoming frustrated with the GM.  They tried to please the GM, sometimes showing initiative in doing a job but they ended up usually being berated by the GM because they didn’t do things the way the GM wanted them done.  “Don’t hang out the washing that way”.  “Don’t mow the lawn in circles”. “Don’t stack the dishwasher that way”.  The householders became despondent and eventually didn’t bother to do anything, typically citing, “it’s not my job”, or “I don’t know how to do it the way you want me to”.  Household Fantasia was chaotic.  Inefficiencies, overloaded responsibilities, demotivated householders – it was imploding. They were about to lose their household. 

The GM was offered an incredible opportunity that would bring significant financial gain and security for the household.  But with how the household was operating it was very apparent that if the GM left the household for a period of time, the household would suffer considerable setbacks and possibly no longer be able to function.  The GM needed to find another way to operate “Household Fantasia”.  A proven system that would empower and motivate the other householders to continue running the household, improve efficiencies thus saving time and money, increase householder morale.  The GM wanted to have a high performance household that would be a household leader.


Enter.. A Quality Management System.


The GM had limited time to implement this household saving system. So the GM called in an expert who promised to have this system in place and working within four weeks. 

Here is what took place:

  1. Meeting to establish the goals, motivations of “Household Fantasia”
  2. Observations on how the household currently operated
  3. Discussions on where the household wanted to be
  4. Identified the roles and responsibilities and how the GM wanted the various roles and responsibilities to be run.
  5. Risk analysis
  6. Expert prepared a draft Household manual
  7. Household management team reviewed manual and made changes
  8. Expert prepared a final manual
  9. Expert provided training to the householders
  10. “Household Fantasia” implemented their QMS.

Within a week “Household Fantasia” experienced significant improvement. They had streamlined a lot of everyday tasks, cut costs with inefficient practices, decreased errors, created opportunities to save time and money, but most importantly, they were motivated and happy.  All householders were fully informed.  Not only on the expectations and the exact how to do, but they were aware of the motivation and goals of the household management team.  All householders were empowered with the why and how of what they needed to accomplish.  They had a structure to work to, and because the QMS was written to the specifics of the household management team, jobs were being done exactly how the GM wanted it done.  They went from chaos to a high performance household. 

The GM was able to leave the household for three weeks.  The household continued to perform and the responsibilities of the GM were easily covered during this time as there was a system in place to enable the other householders to manage the absence effectively.

Oh, and the teenager mowed the lawn. 

Talk to us about how a Quality Management System can grow and scale your business successfully.



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