The other day I saw a post asking why tradies spend 16 hours a week on admin tasks. The point the poster wanted to make was that they should be outsourcing. The issue with that is when a business owner has a high need for control to feel safe, then outsourcing can be difficult. Not to mention if they’d been burnt before or if they just don’t have the funds or if they actually enjoy the admin tasks. The poster was not taking an holistic approach to business, they were outcomes focused. So what is an holistic business approach and why does it matter?
What is an holistic business approach?
An holistic approach, to anything, considers all the parts and all the influences upon it. In business, an holistic approach is more than money, systems, outputs, and bottom line; it’s also the staff, their drivers, the customers, their drivers, the owner/s, and their drivers.
How does an holistic business approach work?
Consider the post I spoke of at the start, the one where tradies do 16 hours of admin work a week, the one where the poster was making the point that they should outsource. The original poster was interested in reducing the time spent on what they saw was unproductive time, potentially billable time. It’s a purely financial consideration of less time on admin work = more time for other things (including clients).
An holistic business approach would consider:
- Is the amount of time taken reasonable
- Are all of the tasks necessary
- Do all of the tasks need to be done by the owner
- Does the owner want to do the tasks
- Does the owner enjoy doing the tasks
- What experience does the owner have with having someone else do these tasks
- What is driving their thoughts around doing the tasks
- What is driving their thoughts around having someone else do the tasks
- What other influences are there on them keeping on doing the tasks (finances, time)
- What other influences are there on them having someone else doing the tasks (finances, time)
An holistic approach to a business issue can look more complex, and sometimes it is, but some of these questions can be quick to answer. It’s more than a pros and cons list and more than a SWOT analysis as it takes into consideration what motivates a person to do (or not) a task.
What is the benefit of taking an holistic business approach?
If nothing else an holistic approach takes a little longer and considers more things, that means that the decision you make is more considered and can avoid rash decisions.
An holistic approach to business can bring forward issues and opportunities you may never have considered. For example, in a management role I took an holistic approach to managing an unmotivated team and discovered that most had aging parents with complex health needs, many were approaching retirement and counting down the hours, all wanted to leave a legacy and felt undervalued. Had I not taken this holistic approach to our business team I would have never found out why they were doing the bare minimum. I would have been ignoring the key motivators of my staff and would have continued a behaviour of minimal compliance rather than self-motivated and happy staff. (Happy staff are more productive and result in happy clients who spend more)
An open holistic business is concerned about the people who make their business what it is. They want their staff to be content and passionate about their work. Their job is to be more than just a pay cheque. That means that they are concerned about the welfare of their staff outside of work, they know that our lives are more than what we do. They know that having happy staff means having happy clients. They know that happy clients spend more money and refer more people.
An holistic business approach takes a human centred approach to their marketing. They understand that it’s a person who is buying from them, a person who is engaging with their marketing, and so it’s a person and what drives them which is at the centre and most important. While it’s great to describe the features and benefits, it’s their relevance to the client that matters most.
Using an holistic business approach is considered, it’s complete, it can take time, it considers more than just the bottom line, it can have people doing more with less and being happier (the staff I managed did this), it’s not a knee jerk reaction, it’s systematic and repeatable. I can help you with this, contact me to find out how.