Spending the time to get the process right

When we planted our apple trees, hazelnuts, and blueberries I spent a bit of time researching how to water them in the first couple of years.

Though Portland gets a lot of rain, summers are usually dry so new trees need regular deep watering. Apple trees need the most at about five gallons each week.

Since we have five trees in the front yard and six trees/bushes in the back, I came up with a process to make it near impossible to under water or forgot a tree.

First I prepared by drilling some holes at the bottom of two five-gallon buckets. These slow-leak buckets were the only piece of “equipment” I needed.

  • Starting on Monday I put one bucket in the front yard and one in the back, close to the first tree’s trunk
  • Then I filled each bucket and walked away, letting the water drain out slowly
  • The next day, I move the bucket to the next tree and fill it again
  • By the weekend, the buckets are at the end of the line and all of them have been watered
  • Next Monday I move the bucket back to the first one and start the process over

This process took a bit of time to plan out but the daily execution is easy: 1) move the buckets to the next tree until the end of the line and 2) fill with water.

If I miss a day or two or there’s rain, I can just pause the process and start it back up the next day. If my morning gets busy I can glance outside and count the trees to see if I forgot to water (e.g. bucket on the 2nd tree but it’s Wednesday would mean I haven’t watered).

Investing the time into building processes in your store can be the most effective use of your time. It’s best when there’s a regular process you do all the time, even if it’s something easy. Thinking and planning it out can help you spot any weaknesses or optimizations.

Do that for a process that impacts sales like working your marketing strategy (e.g. write content, send emails) and you can start to see an impact on your business as a whole.

(That’s how I’m able to write these daily emails by the way, while competitors struggle with a monthly email…)

There are a ton of processes you can build around repeat customers, loyalty, and improving customer behavior. Repeat Customer Insights will give you advice and recommendations for some as well as regular metrics to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.

Eric Davis

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