I recently struck up a conversation with a bloke in the airport. He was heading off overseas for a golfing trip. Not just any golfing trip. He was going to play the top golf courses in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Canada. He was going to be away for 2 months.
During the conversation he indicated that he was a small business owner. He owned and operated three takeaway shops.
“As a business owner, how did you manage to get so much time off from your business?” I asked.
“I looked at McDonald’s and thought if they can run a highly successful and profitable business with teenagers then that’s what I need to do. They have teenagers running busy stores. Teenagers who have been trained to be excellent salespeople, “would you like fries with that?”, teenagers/young adults who are store managers and running shifts, teenagers cooking high volumes of orders, teenagers problem solving.
So, when I started my first takeaway shop, I decided to copy the big boys. I saw so many other small business owners slogging away, working 7 days a week, morning, noon and night, not able to take a break. In the takeaway business staff turnover is very high, so it is an endless line of training and retraining. I wanted something that would stabilise my business, help to grow and minimise stress. And of course, I wanted to build something that would be sustainable if I was to go on holidays or in the event that I got sick or injured. I did not want my business to rely solely on me being there 24/7.”
Of course, this was music to my ears. Although he wasn’t a client of mine, I loved hearing how a dedicated business owner wanted to invest in his business and his employees by putting in Quality Management Systems.
Towards the end of our conversation I asked him what the main benefits were of putting in the systems. And here is what I jotted down for my own future reference (excuse the handwriting – he was talking very enthusiastically).
My airport friend presented a great example of how a simple and effective QMS significantly helps a business. His parting words to me were, “I don’t know why every business doesn’t set themselves up with strong business systems – many of my mates could have joined me on the golf course if they had.” Again, music to my ears.
How would your business manage without you, in sickness or in health (while you are having a dream holiday)?