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AMERICAN PAINTING CONTRACTOR • April 2014 21 Four ways you can improve your fol- low-through and your business results: 1. Assess your current follow-through. Walk around your business for a week with your "follow-through radar" tuned in and keep track of all the ways that you are not following through. I think you'll be surprised at how many there are! Now, pick the two or three follow-through problems that are costing you the most and fix them. 2. Delegate more clearly. In many cases, when your team doesn't follow-through on assigned responsibili- ties or tasks, unclear delegation by you is the root cause. Many owners delegate to their employees informally whenever they think of things that need to get done. You probably do the same. You catch a member of your team on a job or as they're heading out the door at the end of the day and you say, "While I'm think- ing of it, I want you to do a better job of billing clients at the end of a job, and you also need to keep better control of employees misusing equipment." The team member shakes his or her head and says OK, and you're both off to the next thing. Problem solved, right? No! What typically happens to these dele- gated items? Nothing! They never get done. In reality, your employee never accepted responsibility. In fact, he or she probably forgot what you said as soon as you left and thought you'd forget too, so he or she didn't bother to add another task to an already overfilled plate. To ensure successful delegation and fol- low-through: Make sure that the person you delegate to agrees to take respon- sibility for the delegated item. Clearly define what the person is are going to do, how he or she will do it, when it will be done and how he or she will let you know that it's completed. Write it down and follow up. 3. Use a management system to hold your team (and yourself) accountable Crazy busyness is another major reason for lack of follow-through. It doesn't matter whether you have a $250,000 business or a $2.5 million one; there are more things to do in your business than you can keep track of in your head. And if you have a management team who is responsible for different parts of your business, keeping track of all of the things that need to be done, by whom and when can be overwhelming! You need a system to ensure successful follow-through. The system should help you keep track of all the projects going on in your business and enable you to follow up regularly on progress and results to hold everyone accountable for See Advertiser Index on Page 47 The Key Is Follow Through

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