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  • James Walton

How to Avoid Small Errors

The life of a small business owner is an exercise in shifting focus between the micro and the macro.


On the macro, you provide the long range vision of the organization, lead the team, and set strategy.


And all that is counterbalanced with the micro: ensuring the website doesn't have a typo, the invoices are being sent to the proper email address, and contracts contain all the proper exclusions.


If you're not careful, the world of the micro can swamp you, leaving the macro unattended. Equally dangerous, however, is failing is sufficiently focus on the small things, and realizing later the devil really is in the details, after all.


Here's two tips to help ensure the micro gets the attention it deserves, without cannibalizing your attention away from the macro:


Use templates wherever possible. The template, like its cousin the checklist, is the antidote to complexity. Use this rule of thumb: if I'm going to do this more than twice, build a template. For instance, I've built templates for what questions I ask in client discovery meetings and how I structure my proposals and contracts. That way I have a repeatable, thorough process I can trust that covers all the details with a minimum of extra mental energy. The time spent architecting those templates more than repays itself each time I use them.


If it's public facing, get another set of eyes on it. We've all seen advertising copy and promotional material with typos or the wrong information. Make sure you build enough time into your process to allow another team member to edit and review the work. Often, as the author, you're too close to the material to see it clearly, so submit it to a proofing process.


Mistakes happen. But they'll happen less if you build and use templates for recurring tasks, and have another set of eyes review your public-facing work.


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At Trellis Group, we believe chaos is the enemy of the small business. It's our mission to partner with small business owners and their teams to develop the managerial practices and processes to crush chaos. Revenues go up, anxiety goes down, and work becomes a force multiplier for good in the lives of your people. Reach out to discover how the Trellis Group can help you crush chaos.