80% of Problems are Tied to Communication

As business owners, finding the room to really look at your company can be a challenge. Oftentimes, we spend so much time working in our business that we don’t have the time to sit down and analyze things.

We know there are inefficiencies.

We know there are problems.

But finding the bandwidth to actually identify where those problems are rooted, why they’re there, and how we can fix them is a different story.

That’s one of the perks of starting Less Doing Virtual Assistants—our business is your business, which means I have the time to really look at what’s happening.

In the roughly seven months we’ve been running LDVA, I’ve noticed a particular pattern amongst our clients. A pattern that stretches across industries, geographies, and depth of expertise.

This pattern emerges in the type of issues our clients most frequently ask us to resolve for them.

Approximately four out of every five issues—be they tech, team, tool, or process-related—are directly tied to the quality of internal communication.

And, based upon what I can see, the excessive and maddeningly inefficient use of email is at the very heart of problem.

Email needs to be reserved—almost exclusively—for external communication. If it’s a conversation that should be happening behind closed company doors, only use email as a fail-safe, last resort.

Instead, try using the two tools I recommend above all others:

Slack and Trello

Slack and Trello are absolute game-changers!

Slack is the perfect tool for collaboration. It allows for direct, 1-on-1 conversations as well as on-going group discussions with multiple participants. Slack can also be paired with numerous apps and bots that take its versatility to astonishing heights.

Trello is a project management tool par-excellence. It’s simple, clean, and outrageously intuitive. When communication—be it a comment, question, or marching order—is tied to a specific project, it should be directly added to the project’s profile in Trello. At LDVA, doing this enables us to stay unbelievably organized—everyone knows the exact state of a project and any given time.

Slack and Trello have 10x’d our ability to conduct business at LDVA, and those results have been mirrored in every client we’ve migrated to these two tools.

Now, having said all that, there is a critical caveat to pay attention to:

If Slack and Trello aren’t properly set up, your communication WILL NOT IMPROVE.

Remember—as phenomenal as Slack and Trello are, they (like email) are tools, and tools can either be helpful or harmful.

When you’re employing new communications and project management technologies, it is absolutely imperative to look before you leap—think about the best way to use your tools before using them.

Don’t create a Slack channel that only has one member

Don’t build a Trello board with only one card.

Be strategic in laying the groundwork and you’ll be strategic in the eventual execution.

-Ari