January was hectic, to say the least. Coming back to work after a very relaxing few week off over the Xmas period always makes it tough to get back into the swing of things. Everyone is still on holidays so actually getting anything done just doesn’t happen so typically January is always a slow period for us, using this time to find your feet again. Well, this year this wasn’t the case. It was extremely hectic.
We started the year with a camping trip up in Mudjimba, north of Brisbane towards Noosa. This is the time of year I take off to reflect on the year prior. This year it didn’t quite work out to be a relaxing time than I had planned. It stormed the entire time and if you have been camping while storming, well put it this way, it’s not soo fun. The entire time all we did was try and keep us and our belongings from getting wet. It was a very stressful week, well part of a week, as we pulled the pin and left a few days earlier to escape the weather. So I guess this is another reason why we entered into January with it being a very hectic month as we didn’t get the time we normally would get to reset ourselves ready for the year.
January saw us on board a new staff member Mel Bradburn, CROFTi Innovation Consulting newest member with her role being Project Coordinator. While we were onboarding Mel we were still trying to get some of our projects from last year completed and due to the deadlines looming this caused a fair bit of stress internally. One project, in particular, caused a huge amount of stress for our entire team as this particular project (link here to Fit Education Case Study) was transforming their business from traditional brick and motor business to a complete online business with everything being 100% automated. This would normally not be a big issue but this project was put on hold a few months previous due to the business not having the internal resources dedicated to this project so it was being kicked off again in January with it needed to be 100% completed by Feb 1st. This would have been ok but we needed to now fit in 3 months’ worth of work into 1 month. Not much fun.
After meeting with my business coach, Bryan Worn, late last year I asked him how can I run my weekly meetings as I grow the business as it will be hard to have everyone in a team meeting at the same time. His answer was simple, you need to stop doing weekly meetings. So I did! But I wanted to still keep in contact with each of the guy so I started a weekly blog video. This is a quick 2min video on what’s happening in the week and this is posted in our online portal for all of the team to watch and comment. I did this each week for the month and got good verbal feedback from the team, so I kept going.
Implementing a Project Management System, something our CROFTi Innovation Consulting department has been lacking for a while now, is what we really needed. We have many systems in place but this is one we are missing. Yes, you think being a company who implement systems for a living we would have one ourselves, well we do and we also have many systems/processors in place but our focus was on systemising Unlimited IT Support in 2016 so hence not having the time required to focus on Innovation Consulting. Now, this is our time. We have the people in place so now we just need the systems. So we started down the route of implementing Dynamics 365 (the new version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM) which combines the best of all systems in 1 portal. Sales, Customer Service, Operations, Financials, Field Service, Project Service Automation, and Marketing. The first stage is to get Project Service up and running which our project manager Dean Cavanagh started to implement.
January was also very stressful as we only turned over $29k in the month and when our overheads are at $70k a month this caused a few issues. There were a few factors involved including working on projects from last year but mainly as everyone was still in holiday mode and didn’t actually want to action anything, from phone calls to meetings, just didn’t happen. Holiday mode in Australia starts from December 15th and goes to January 25th. A great learning for next year.
The great thing about our Unlimited IT Support division is we have already systemised it in 2016 so now the cog just works and we have happy clients so hence making it easier to focus on improving Innovation Consulting. We had our first Unlimited IT Support meeting for the year in January. This is where we scope out our goals with the entire UIT team and talked about what is working and not working and what we want to see happen in the months and years to come. This is a completely open discussion where we make decisions as a team (this is just not what I want in the business). After a good hour of discussion, we broke it down to 4 measurable outcomes (where we can focus on month in, month out and actually measure our success). The measurable outcomes are;
- Hiring: with Customer Support Skills
- Issues: Response Time
Our results for January are:
1. Response Time Achieved: 3 hrs and 23 mins.
2. Hired New Staff Members: Emelie (PH Team) and & Paul (AU Team)
We moved into our new office space back in December but we actually hadn’t had time to settle in as yet. January saw us join the free Yoga and Pilates sessions that are held in the building and we started to have our office Friday afternoon drinks to build the relationships with the other 2 companies, Ellem Warren Lawyers and Evexia.