Defining Moments

Jun 28, 2010

Whether you call it multitasking, wearing many hats or simply a product of the down economy, it seems these days that everyone’s job description is growing broader and broader.

Here at Performance Business, our sales department sees it every day-speaking with people at various aftermarket suppliers who used to be simply marketing professionals but who now are also responsible for shipping, sales or other important, if somewhat unrelated, tasks at their company.

Chances are it’s the same at your shop. From owners on down, it’s becoming rare to find a person whose daily job consists of a single task or responsibility. Nowadays, we’re all Renaissance men and women.

The good news is that this arrangement offers workers variety and a chance to broaden their understanding of the business. The bad news is that it’s much more difficult to stay organized and efficient.

If you’re finding that being pulled in different directions is negatively affecting your bottom line, a pair of industry professionals featured in our July 2010 issue have some simple advice: put it in writing.

Writing down an accurate job description-both for individual employees and for your company as a whole-puts everyone in your organization on the same page. It naturally promotes efficiency while also establishing priorities.

“Once you’ve defined the job, write it down. Creating a job description is very important,” recommends Phil Sasso in his Employee Hiring column.

His reasoning is that in most speed shops, tasks fall under three general categories: sales, installation and clerical. All are equally important, but it’s vital to know who is responsible for what.

He goes on to say that shop owners and managers should first create their own job description, including listing their strengths in each of the three areas, and then hire or appoint employees whose talents fill in any gaps.

“I suggest you find someone whose strength is your weakness. If you’re disorganized, find a organizer. If you hate selling, find someone who likes serving customers. The great part about this strategy is that it frees you from the drudgery and allows you to focus more time on what you love doing. It’s a win-win situation,” he explains.

Equally important is defining the goals and parameters of your business because, while you and your employees may be comfortable with a variety of job titles, your company needs to project a single strong and understandable message.

“If your message is installation and service, then you must stand on the highest mountain and let the world know this is who you are,” says Mike James, director of sales and marketing for Omix-ada.

So take a moment to define who you are, and what your company is all about. Knowing exactly where you stand makes it easier to get where you want to go.