April 2019 breakfast
Smaller but still perfectly formed
With the onset of school holidays and Easter approaching a slightly smaller than usual number attended the April 2019 meeting at The Mix where we enjoyed the usual excellent breakfast.
There was the usual wide variety of businesses represented and we welcomed Robert Horn, from Red Gables, a community centre that provides space for the town’s smaller charities and has a variety of rooms available for hire as office and meeting space. It also has an area of green space, known as the Spinney, where a gardening project for people with mental health problems and learning disabilities is held. However, he said, part of the land is owned by the fire station, which has just notified Red Gables that it is proposing to sell it. Red Gables is hoping to maintain access to the land and continue with the gardening project.
The ten-minute presentation for April 2019 was from our treasurer and Business Plumber Kate Kelly who gave us an insight into her work with her clients.
It really is all about the business “Plumbing”
Unlike many business coaches, Kate focuses on the processes. How things are done, not on strategy, goals and feelings. This means helping businesses to do things in the right order. Being clear about who has responsibility for what and having clear documentation for people to refer to. But…only as much as is needed for that particular business.
Documentation, she said, can be in the form of a concise manual, a flow chart, a spreadsheet or checklist, where things can be ticked off when completed.
In order to improve processes within a business, it is first necessary to define what “better” means. Whether the client wants to “do it, delegate it or dump it”. For example, there may be some tasks as a business grows, where the choice is to take on a new employee or to outsource that part of the process. This is where good documentation comes in.
Another example is when a business becomes a victim of its own success. This is the stage at which informal processes need to become more formal, and again, with Kate’s help as an intermediary, the business has to select the process that will work best for its needs.
A further problem a business can face is when the day-to-day needs leave no time to think strategically.
And finally, Kate said, there is “always”! When she is told a particular element is “always going wrong”. This is about the diagnosis of the current process to identify what is not working and help clients to put in place a process that will work.
Simple when you know how!
Tell us what you want
Allan is happy to receive any suggestions for what members want to see the Chamber doing in the future. Please send your ideas (and your want lists) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dates for your diary:
|May Coffee||May Breakfast|
|Needham Market Community Centre||The Mix, Stowmarket|
|Friday, May 3||
Friday, May 17
|10.00am-12noon||Starting at 6.45am|
For more information contact Keely Taylor
phone: 01449 770965
Anyone who has a story to publicise should contact marketing officer Alison Withers: