Business is like a runaway freight train, it doesn't stop for anyone. A good business owner will try to anticipate speed bumps along the road and try to work around them. However, a great business leader will not only plan ahead, but make sure they have a complete fallback system in place when emergencies do happen. Alert control is one of the areas which will be looked at in great detail. Maybe you haven't ever come across this term and don't know what it actually means. Alert control is a system that you put in place that will handle all the relevant notifications that you want to know when you want to know them. For example, how do you know when a task has been completed? How do you know when a client meeting has had to be changed? How do you know when there is negative press about to come your way? How do you know when a shipment of your products has been delayed to an import client? All of these questions need to be answered by your chain of important messages.
Task completion notice
The normal practice for task completion is for the last employee who was working on a task, to double check with a manager if everything is okay. The manager will then look over the work that has been done and give his or her approval. But, how do you the business owner know a task has been completed? You might be saying, well the manager should be informing you. But ask yourself why are you relying on an employee, including management to tell you when a task or project has been completed? What if the task that has been completed isn't passed onto you when it's done, but actually a day or two later?
The moral is to never rely on anyone to inform you when a task has been completed. Run on your own time schedule and not wait on others to tell you when something is done. You're simply more reliant on yourself to move things ahead that way. Set up an alert setting in your task management tool, so that when a task's status has been moved to 'complete' you automatically get a ping or notification that this has happened. Task management tools often have options that allow someone to attach their profile to tasks but be in a 'ghost' mode. This way you'll only be alerted to specific occurrences; such as a task being completed.
Too busy to talk
When you're in a business meeting, the outside world no longer should take any part of your attention. You have clients sitting in front of you and perhaps investors that want to be informed of progress you've made recently. Constant interruptions while in a meeting does not bode well for your professional image and the flow of the conversation or presentation. You're simply too busy to talk. When you're in a very serious meeting such as going over your financial quarter performance report, you might not even want to speak with senior staff members.
Small businesses don't have many resources so they rely on manpower to relay messages, even ones that are miniscule in importance. For this you can use receptionist services that take all your calls to the office and notify you when you're good and ready. This is a team in London, and provides your own team of professionals to handle telephone calls that are either happening to your mobile or office line. It's great for when you're unable to get to the phone but need to take any and all messages. If you want to be alerted of specific calls such as from a close client, this can be forwarded to your immediately as well.
Trust key people
Working closely with employees to develop relationships that go beyond work is not always recommended. You want to keep a gap between each other so you as their leader don't become one of the guys. However you do need to be able to assign at least one or two people, who can notify you personally when something major has happened in the various departments. It might be that a project team has had a big bust up such as an argument has stopped people from agreeing on a direction. These key people can whisper in your ear of the goings on and you can react quickly when no one wants to tell on each other.
The alertness of a business to changing circumstances is incredibly vital to being adaptive to any situation. Make sure you have a chain of important messages running through your business directly up to you.