Treat Your Business Like a Vending Machine to Clear the Bottlenecks

Every business I’ve ever worked with has bottlenecks in their systems.

Something is blocking projects from moving forward or delaying communication and it’s impacting their bottom line.

Today let’s look at the process side of bottlenecks, sometime soon we’ll look at the people side.

One of the best ways to clear the bottlenecks in your processes is to treat your business like a vending machine.

Last week I had a great call with one of my friends and mentors all about the bottlenecks I was experiencing in one of my businesses.

The problem came down to clients being slow in the review process before we could move forward with their project.

Projects that should have take 90 days had been stretching out to 120 days or longer.

I know as the business owner that even client delays are still my responsibility, but I just couldn’t see a way around this crucial step in my process.

Here’s what the process looked like for me and the clients:

Me: Create email automation and draft email copy. Notify client it’s ready for review.

Client: Missed the message, saw it and forgot, or just got too busy.

Me: Follow up with client

Client: Out of town at a conference and will be back next week

Me: Follow up in a week

Client: Too busy with everything that didn’t get done when they were out of town.

Me: Follow up…

You get the point.

It became a tennis match and I was losing (not just the game, but money too because I couldn’t take on more clients…)

That’s when I turned to KC, and he instantly had a solution for me.

Side note: This is why it’s important to have a mentor, coach, or someone to bounce ideas off of. Within seconds, KC was able to completely clear the block I was experiencing. If you need to get unstuck, book a free call with me so we can talk through it.

So what does all this have to do with a vending machine?

Think of it this way.

When you go to a vending machine, what happens?

You look for the thing you want.

Put in your money.

Make your selection.

There may be a delay to confirm your selection.

Then you wait for the machine to give you what you ordered.

Pretty simple process, and it works dang near every time.

KC reminded me to think of my business process just like that.

Here’s what it could look like:

The client puts the money in.

They select the service or product they need.

I give them what they order.

There’s a short delay to “confirm their selection” (or review & approve)

Deliver the final product.

All in all, that short delay puts the client on a deadline, and gives me a chance to move forward if they don’t take action.

Here’s the new process we developed:

Me: Create email automation and draft email copy. Notify client it’s ready and they have seven days for review before I add it to their system.

Client: Thanks! I have a deadline…I better get that to Robby so I don’t look like a doofus

Me: You’re awesome! Thanks for reviewing. I’ll get that loaded.

Total time one week, as opposed to weeks of back and forth.

How did I miss that one simple step before?

Too often we can’t see solutions to the problems we’re facing. But it may be completely obvious to an outsider.

If you’re feeling stuck in your business or productivity, let me help you get unstuck. Grab a spot on my calendar (totally free) and let’s work on your number one problem.

Here’s to taking action!

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About the Author

Robby helps busy business owners simplify and automate their productivity systems so they have more time to focus on what they're best at. He helps you design and implement plans and systems so you can work ON your business, not IN your business. Companies such as Productive Magazine, Nozbe, Matt McWilliams, and Notable Themes have trusted Robby to share his productivity systems, increase sales, and create a better customer experience.