Episode 13 – Identifying Bottlenecks In Your Practice

Identifying Bottlenecks In Your Practice

What is preventing you from moving forward in your business?

What is taking too long?

What systems or processes are holding you back?

These are bottlenecks that slow down our flow. 

3 signs you have a bottleneck in your practice: Project Delays, Staff Burnout, and Rework

Knowing that you have bottlenecks in your practice isn’t the same as identifying them and trying to eliminate them. What you want to focus on is trying to systemize your business and treat your work-product like going through that assembly line. Think about all the materials that are needed to get you to done. Just write that process down from when you start a job to what is complete. When looking at your list, pinpoint the areas where you complain the most or you see that flow of the work being kinked. Once you’ve identified areas of your practice that could work better, see if there is a way to simplify that process.

Show Notes

What is preventing you from moving forward in your business? What is taking too long? What systems or processes are holding you back?

These are bottlenecks that slow down our flow. Think about a garden hose that gets kinked. The water stops flowing and we can get backed up. And, it’s funny, but I know that if you keep that hose on for too long without it able being able to flow freely, it will eventually burst. Yeah, we might have left a hose out too long once and our neighbor had to come over to turn off the water because there was water flying into the air that he could see over our 6-foot fence.

So, how do we address these bottlenecks in our practices before they burst? Well, you are going to have to take a look at your business in a non-emotional way and really start to break-down your processes and analyze whether they are supporting the flow of your business or blocking you from success. 

  1. Project delays – that cleanup that was due a few weeks ago is still in process
  2. Staff burnout – You or your employees are just over-whelmed with everything at work and are having a hard time getting into the groove of things and checking off all their tasks
  3. Rework – You thought you were good and once you start looking at a project, you realize that you have to redo work that was supposed to already be done.

But knowing that you have bottlenecks in your practice isn’t the same as identifying them and trying to eliminate them. In a manufacturing business, it’s pretty easy to identify a bottleneck because you can see where the raw materials start to get backed up on an assembly line. You need to think of your work as something that goes on an assembly line. X must be done before you get to Y and Y must be done before you get to Z. 

So, where do you get held up and how do unkink that hose and let the work continue to flow? 

First, let’s talk about your client being a bottleneck. It’s true! We wait on details from clients a lot and that can hold us up. How can we make that better?

  1. Make it super crazy easy to get their information. Find a way to pull that information – maybe go to the bank website directly or use other systems to get that information automatically. 
  2. Maybe you schedule a time for a call so that you can go through what is needed together. If most of it is electronic, do a screen share. 
  3. And, finally, manage those expectations. Tell them that if you don’t get your information by a certain day, then you’ll have a delay in work which will have to wait. 

Above all, you need to have a mutual respect for each others businesses. They have other things to do to keep their business running and you have other clients. Be understanding of their own bottlenecks but also be clear about how that will impact your service.

Now, what about those bottlenecks in your practice? We all have them! 

What you want to focus on is trying to systemize your business and treat your work-product like going through that assembly line. Think about all the materials that are needed to get you to done. Computers? Phones? Apps? Employees? Documents? 

Just write that process down from when you start a job to what is complete. When looking at your list, pinpoint the areas where you complain the most or you see that flow of the work being kinked. Is it reporting? Is it month-end? Is it checking your employees’ work? 

Once you’ve identified areas of your practice that could work better, see if there is a way to simplify that process. If you have to do 20 steps to complete one task, then there might be a need to invest in a better way. Apps are great tools to make things easier but they can also make things harder. 

My biggest piece of advice for fixing these bottlenecks is going to go to our Facebook group – Build Your Best Bookkeeping Practice and ask for advice. Ask “How do you guys handle getting bank statements from your clients?” or “I’m trying to accomplish X task and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions to make it easier.” 

And, do me a favor, put the hashtag #bottleneck on those posts so we can track them and see how well we are helping each other!

More Resources:

Subscribe or listen on your favorite platforms

Become a QBOchat Scholar

Are you looking for more support and to grow your expertise to help build YOUR best bookkeeping practice? Join our QBOchat Scholar program today.

Share This Article!

Posted in

QBOchat

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.