Must Do, Need To Do, Nice To Do
Originally published: 12.01.08 by Terry Tanker
Know the difference.
The business climate around the world is pretty bleak. Every day news reports announce new rounds of layoffs at major companies around the world. It’s a good bet that you’ve been faced with staff reductions too.
Consolidating your company often creates more work for the remaining management team and staff. So, what do you do after the cuts have been made? How do you manage that workflow effectively? Adopt a disciplined practical approach to managing your business that revolves around the leadership you provide.
There is a principle referred to as the 80/20 rule, which, in its simplest form, states that 80 percent of your results are gained through 20 percent of your efforts. If you can identify the 20 percent of your task list that’s most important in the moment, you can concentrate on areas that will bring you the greatest gains.
Must Do, Need To Do, Nice To Do
This is a very simple and straightforward method that may help you clearly differentiate between those things that are more urgent and those that are important but don’t need immediate attention. Making use of this simple technique may help you more effectively lead your company in the coming months.
There are things you Must Do. Items in this circle are critical and need your attention today. The items in this circle will be exclusive to your company but could include collecting outstanding invoices, evaluating your vendor list and eliminating every expense you can do without, turning inventory into cash and creating the marketing and advertising that drives the phones to ring.
There are things you Need to Do. Items in this circle are on the horizon and will be in your must do circle within the month. Pay bills (on time), reevaluate current contracts and renegotiate where possible, assess your company healthcare plan and energy costs, dump or trade fleet vehicles that are essential. Check out LeaseTrader.com this firm can get you out of or into existing leases. There FAQ page is very helpful.
There are things that would be Nice to Do. Items on this list are long range goals and plans and shouldn’t be considered until the economy and your business rebound. These are luxury items that can seriously detract from the must do and need to do items. Don’t fool yourself. If items are not critical, then they belong in the nice to do circle.
Terry has more than 25 years of experience in the advertising and publishing industries. He began his career with a business-to-business advertising agency. Prior to forming Hutchinson Tanker Ltd. and HVACR Business in January 2006, he spent 20 years with a large national publishing and media firm where he was the publisher of several titles in the mechanical systems marketplace.
In addition to his experience in advertising and publishing, Terry has worked closely with numerous industry-related associations over the years including AHRI, AMCA and ABMA. He currently serves on the board of N.A.T.E (North American Technicians Excellence Association). He has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Boiler Manufactures Association (ABMA) and as chairman for both the Associates Committee and the Marketing Communications Committee
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