How much excess LNC baggage do you have? What are the hidden costs in your business?
Just what is excess baggage? I define it as the paper and other objects that accumulate in our business.
Earlier this year I was thinking about excess LNC baggage as I packed suitcases. I asked myself, “What did I really need? What can I leave behind?”
When I went next door to give the house key to our neighbors, we got on the subject of shredding paper. He confessed, “When I closed down my heating and air conditioning business, we hired a truck to come in and shred paper. We had 3,500 pounds of paper that accumulated over 22 years.” That’s almost 2 tons!
If you grew up in a non-digital age, you may have difficulty getting rid of paper. How do you tackle excess LNC baggage in your business?
1. At the end of each year, box up financial records, such as copies of invoices and label them with the year. In 7 years, you can shred those documents.
2. Set up a system to follow when a case closes. Scan the important documents and save them in a file folder with the year. Shred the rest of the documents. In 7 years, you can delete that electronic file folder.
3. If you have a large volume of documents for shredding, hire a shredding truck to come to you or drive your papers to a shredding site.
4. Digital files have a way of accumulating. When you finish a case, save the essential files and delete the rest. For example, you may have several drafts of a report that you can eliminate.
The excess electronic files have a cost too. They add to the volume of what you need to back up. Cloud based back up services charge you by the megabyte. And eventually, they can fill up your hard drive. Ask me how I know.
5. Nurses are usually really good at writing up policies and procedures. Apply the same skill to your business. Create checklists or standard operating procedures. Document your procedures for critical operations such as receiving new cases, closing files, or following up on accounts receivable. Ask someone who knows nothing about that process to read what you have created; ask if it is clear.
6. Look for ways to streamline your procedures. Are there steps that are unnecessary, can be combined, done by someone else or obsolete?
7. Continually look for ways to improve your efficiency, effectiveness, and knowledge. Get rid of your excess LNC baggage – you’ll feel tons better.
Quote of the Week
“Drive is important. Hustle is important. You can’t look at the top of the staircase and want to be there. You have to look at the step directly ahead of you and ask yourself, ‘How do I climb that step?’” Patrick Wilson, Actor