“Flying by the seat of your pants” is an expression that came from the second world war to describe their approach to flying when they couldn’t rely on instruments or when the weather got in the way. When it’s a do or die situation and you have no choice, that’s one thing. But many entrepreneurs and small businesses operate this way every day and have adopted it as a management style when they are growing.
As a management style, flying by the seat of your pants can be destructive. Money, time, customer service and quality can all suffer and it comes with frenzied chaos. Poor quality products or services can limit your future sales. It’s not a good long-term strategy, flying by the seat of your pants.
Here’s what you can do instead:
- Get real. If you’re going to make a change you need to recognize this is a problem. Be honest about how reactive you are to change and if this is serving you as an entrepreneur and business owner.
- Write it down. Document your new plan, step by step, and break it down to daily action steps. Be armed with the knowledge of exactly what you need to do to achieve your new goals.
- Keep your eyes on the prize. Block off time to review how your implementation is going, what’s working, what’s not and how you can pivot to adjust.
- Open yourself up to feedback. Listen to other people’s advice so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Don’t feel like you have to do exactly what they say, just take what makes sense and leave the rest.
- Count everything that counts. What can be measured can be managed, so keep track of money, time, analytics, resources, downloads, all the metrics that tell you how things are really going with your implementation.
- Delegate. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Bring in experts to do the things that are not in your zone of genius. You won’t make expensive mistakes and your quality of life will improve.
- Automate. Automation doesn’t replace the personal touch but it does free your time up to invest energy into it. It makes you more efficient, productive and reduces risk of mistakes. Your daily tasks can be streamlined with the help of automation and you can get more clarity on what is happening.
You don’t have to settle for flying by the seat of your pants in your business. You can be more planful, strategic and put forth a higher quality product or service with these seven steps. Which will you implement first in your business?