In Business Everything Matters, Even How You Make The Tea

I recently dropped off a present to the guys at Mooch Creative, after a previous visit gave me déjà vu. The first time IMooch Creative Dan & Mark visited, I was kindly offered a cup of tea – which I gratefully accepted – and I saw one of the team then take themselves off to the kitchen area where they waited for the kettle to boil.

It reminded me of a manufacturing client I had years ago, and showed to be another example of how it’s the little things that can really hurt you (not physically).

If you are facing somebody and they threw an axe at you, you’d instinctively move out of the way sharpish so that the axe didn’t hit you. While thankfully there aren’t too many axes in business, there are lots and lots of opportunities to get paper cuts and this is what can damage your business.The client in question had 20 staff and they typically go off on their breaks to the kitchen area in small groups, make themselves a cuppa tea and then take some time away from their desks. Now to make the tea, they’d obviously have to boil the kettle, so what you had was 20 people going in a break three times a day – at which point they’d all stand there watching the kettle boil.

So let’s do the math… It takes three minutes for the kettle to boil, they’re going on their break three times a day and there are around 20 of them over the course of the day. That’s three breaks for 20 people each day, five days a week, 48 weeks a year (allowing for four weeks holiday). Unbelievably if you do the maths it’s the equivalent of paying one person to stand and watch a kettle boil for 90 days a year. Now that’s a lot of man hours!

The solution was to install a tea urn so that people can get instant hot water, and when I turned up at Mooch Creative with a tea urn and told them the story about my old manufacturing client, they seem pretty chuffed by the gesture. I doubt it would save them 90 days over the year, but it certainly improved morale and perhaps boosted productivity by a good few weeks a year.

By Alan Adams

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As an award-winning business coach and bestselling author, Alan S Adams has helped hundreds of businesses across the UK to move from simply surviving to positively thriving. The publication of his second book Passion To Profit: 7 Steps To Building A Kick-Ass Agency and his third book, The Beautiful Business: Secrets to Sculpting Your Ultimate Clinic, sees him focus very specifically on creative agencies and aesthetic clinic sector, sharing advice and guidance with the potential to revolutionise turnover, client retention and overall growth. Alan was also recognised by Enterprise Nation as one of the UK’s Top 50 Advisors and APCTC Coach of The Year Finalist.

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