Picture this… it’s Sunday; you are at home, in the backyard with some friends. Burgers are on the grill, beer is on ice, football is on TV. The team you root for is not important for the duration of this blog post, all you know is tomorrow is Monday, and you’re trying not to think about going back to work.
Now let’s get a little crazy. Your team is down by 10 points with 3 minutes left in the game, and they just took possession of the ball on their own 20-yard line. To add to the drama (my blog, my rules) … it’s Super Bowl Sunday. If I wanted to be a real jerk, I would say your numbers on the football pool are currently on the scoreboard, but let’s stick to the conversation….
That 3 minutes of football will be watched with so much fire and passion. Every play you jump and scream, grabbing the arm of the person next to you when that big 15-yard catch is made. “They’re gonna do it! C’mon boys!”
While the players are on the field, grinding it out, the coaching staff is behind the scenes, hard at work. They know the playbook inside and out. They’ve studied countless hours of film, preparing for this exact moment. They have dozens of predesigned plays for this exact scenario. They even position staff members up high to get a bird’s eye view and guarantee they don’t miss anything that might give them an edge. Long story short, the coach knows what to do, and they are ready to do it.
But how does it all come together? How does a professional football team win a championship?
The same way your company competes in your local market every day. It takes problem solving and communication. The business owner is the coach, and your local market is your Super Bowl. Companies that do well are able to do so because their team is strong, and they use efficient technology and resources. Do you have employees that contribute ideas? Do you value their ideas? Although you may be the “head coach” do you put people up high as the eye in the sky, to see the things you might be missing? More importantly, do you listen to their feedback?
The coach is dangerous because he has resources and he knows how to use them. He uses hand signals, he yells, he throws flags when something is wrong; but above all, the coach always has his clipboard in his hand and his headset on. Check out this video http://bit.ly/2h1tDPK and use it as your “eye in the sky” letting you know something you may have missed.
The clipboard is his plan. He has prepared for this game, and he will win. He made notes (blueprints) and to win, he must communicate with his team. The plan is discussed before the game, but to be efficient, the quarterback has an earpiece that allows him to hear the coach when changes need to be made.
The coach has a direct line of communication with the eye in the sky through that headset. Communication can still be done without the aid of technology, but why would a coach willingly allow the other team to have an advantage so strong?
Would you see an NFL coach use a runner between the box up high and the sidelines? Would you see a coach hold a pair of binoculars and point them to the sky, looking for words written on paper from his staff in the box?
Every day, so many contractors do exactly that. They don’t want to make the investment in technology that will allow them to play the game more efficiently. For some reason, contractors and business owners still “send the runner” to call the plays. In this case, the “runner” I am referring to is the employee that you send to the local blueprint shop, and the “plays” are your blueprints.
As a business owner, you’re busy. It’s difficult for you to make every decision in your company, so you delegate. You trust your team members, but the final decision goes through you. What if your teammates are calling the wrong plays? What if they didn’t study as much film as you? Are they qualified to lead the team? After all, you are the coach… your job is to call the plays, not listen to the quarterback and how he thinks you should call the game.
Let me ask you this… how often do you send your secretary to bid a job? My guess is never. Now how often do you make the secretary meet with sales reps or spend money on office supplies? I would be willing to bet that answer is a lot different. This video http://bit.ly/2h1tDPK illustrates what happens when decisions are delegated. You depend on yourself to make the decisions that make you money and rely on your staff to make decisions that cost you money.
This is the business equivalent of “the prevent” defense.
We get so focused on not losing our point margin (or in this case, saving money) that we allow small yardage plays. We may stop the touchdown, but the other team has the ball, and we are letting them drive. If they get 1 lucky shot, they are right back in this game. The best way to win a game is to have control of the ball.
Your competition is always looking to best you. And to be fair, you are looking to do the same to them. If you choose to play the game without efficient technology, like an in-house plotter, you are at a severe disadvantage. How long does it take for you to send the print to the repro shop and get it back? What if it’s Friday afternoon? What if you need the prints right now? Have you ever heard the old saying, “first contact, first contract”?
An in-house plotter can print your drawings as low as sixteen cents per sheet, in as little as 21 seconds per sheet. That is immediate communication! That is playing the game at a professional level. No runners, no prevent defense; the ball is in your hands, you have the lead, and you are in control… pure offense!
Printing in-house gives you the short yard gains against your competitors that haven’t embraced technology. Short yard gains are still gains. You are still moving the ball down the field, and as we all know… “any given Sunday” … am I right?
As a bonus (sticking with the Super Bowl theme) an in-house printer can be used to print job site banners and signs, and a whole list of other advertising media that you might not be using because of its associated costs! Have you seen what people pay to advertise during the Super Bowl? There is a good reason… it’s worth it! It doesn’t cost much to print those advertisements on your own printer. This video demonstrates the poster artist software that is included with the printer http://bit.ly/2g5M97p
Are you missing opportunities by letting your secretary handle your business? Fill out the survey below to find out if an in-house plotter can make your office more efficient and put you in control of your local market.