I believe that it was Zig Ziglar (1926 – 2012) who talked about working on your business rather than working in your business. He was making the point in the context of growing a business. More recently, I re-read an article I’d kept on file in which the same on-your-business-not-in-your-business point was raised in the context of a textile screen printing shop.

The article started out being about a shop with a printing probelm.They were dealing with a deadline order to print in white on burgundy nylon running shorts that they discovered were actually polyester shorts when the dye bled into the print. This led to to a closer examination of why this was allowed to happen and how the shop was being run. A list of management problems were unearthed in the process:

  • A production manager running the press, leaving nobody to manage the production or run the shop.
  • A poor screen-coating technique.
  • A high temperature in the shop at around 49 Celsius.
  • Accepting the job with too tight a deadline with no time allowed for dealing with problems.
  • No standard operating procedure for minimizing problems.
  • Poorly trained production staff.

Unfortunately, this is quite common in the industry. How does your shop stack up against this list of management problems? is someone managing to prevent crises?