I have been to California a half a dozen times in the past year to meet with clients. Living on an island off the East Coast makes the trip back and forth fairly difficult. Most the time my flights arrive on schedule, but occasionally the airline fails to deliver and on two specific occasions I was forced to find alternative means of travel.
Thanks to my diligent and ingenious personal assistant, Birdie, who acted quickly to re-route my travel from our home office, I arrived for one meeting in Los Angeles via helicopter and another in San Francisco via Uber. Not just any Uber, a seven-and-a-half hour, overnight, $1,450 ride in the only vehicle available for such a trip—a white stretch limousine straight off the set of “Pretty Woman.” – Peter J. Strauss
Many entrepreneurs at one point or another find themselves in a position where they must get the job done at whatever the cost. But for Peter, this most recent experience got him thinking about the importance of logistics.
Logistics encompass far more than planes, trains and automobiles. They are more than having a dedicated, do-whatever-it-takes team member to make things happen in a pinch. Logistics are a part of everyday routine, from navigating meals and workout routines to family engagements and, of course, business.
Logistics are the organization, administration, coordination, and execution of your day-to-day activities. And whether it be on the home front—carpooling, making dinner, getting one of your four monkeys to soccer—or at the office, logistics entail everyone doing their part.
In his early experience as an entrepreneur, Peter operated in whirlwind, not sure what steps he was taking, just driving his business forward and figuring it out as he went. A fast paced, venturesome and ambitious workplace is stimulating to him; however, there comes a point when your business begins to grow so rapidly that even office space and Christmas party transportation become logistical issues.
Supply-chain and operational logistics focus on the processes that encompass the storage and flow of product from the warehouse to the consumer. Logisticians use a work-flow concept that can easily translate into any workplace. In the frenzy of entrepreneurial life—with new concepts, new ideas, new clients and new hires—it is his suggestion that any entrepreneur, business owner or individual steal these key points of the logistical concept: planning, development, implementation, management and evaluation of their business.
Whether it be 30-60-90 days out, or a vision for the next five years, planning a clear roadmap for where you are going will help define objectives, explain the “why” of long term goals and align you, your co-workers and your team on how to get there.
Sit down and take the time to develop the strategy that will help you achieve your vision. This will likely include research, sounding boards and solicitation of feedback, but the more time you spend in development, the greater the results are likely to be.
Whether utilizing project teams or whole-company action items, implementing the “how” is the next key step; it is where you put in place the expectations that need to be met.
Management and Evaluation
“Inspect what you expect.” When you manage the plan, you inspect whether the processes in place are moving your business in the right direction. If not, re-evaluate and make the necessary changes.
Logistics are at the core of everything we do in business, and are ultimately the key to success for an entrepreneur, business owner or individual. The better you are at logistics in the workplace, the more time you create to manage logistics in your personal life, enabling you to achieve the Holy Grail of work-life balance.
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