Don’t be the last one picked at recess.

Personal efficiency is a highly sought after attribute. Far too many meaningless tasks get in the way and stray us from the must do’s. Eventually our to-do list has become a prodigious task that carries into the night or is delayed until tomorrow. In any case, efficiency = profit and it’s important to identify deficiency = profit loss.

Here’s a great example. I worked with a major coffee retailer that was losing money everyday. They were literally watching people come into the store and immediately do a U-turn and walk back out because the line was too long.

I am an avid coffee drinker and I like my coffee the way God invented it – black. It’s quick, easy and tastes like coffee. This company is known for it’s over the top, gourmet, 12 words in it’s name coffee. When a person orders one of those 12 word coffee’s it takes the person behind the counter quite a bit of time and if they are also ordering for friends, now you might as well pull up a chair and begin reading the news because you will be there a while.

I was in one of their busiest locations in my area and working with the District Manager we walked over to the line, which had 14 people in it, and I politely asked each person what their order was going to be. It turned out that of the 14 people 5 of them were ordering a simple black coffee. We sat and did the math based on a specific person behind the counter servicing customers who wanted a simple black coffee. He was astounded to see how many additional customers he could serve and what that translated into for profits.

The bottom line is the bottom line and it’s very important to take a look at what you are doing and how you are doing it. In many cases companies have a hard time seeing the forest through the trees because, as the saying goes, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always had.

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