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Internet And Business Online - Red Tape Removal

Jan 1, 2008
Mike Krzyzewski once said, "The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions."

Take some time to think about that from the perspective of online business ownership. Is it possible to so legislate your business that you no longer have the spontaneity you need for creating something new and flexible?

Most businesses enact policies to deal with issues when a situation comes up that they don't know how to handle at first blush. Once they work through the issue they revise policy to reflect how they first dealt with the issue.

The potential problem with this scenario is that the exact situation with the exact circumstances may never come into play. In other words the policy may be applied in a circumstance that can be viewed in a slightly different context.

Business owners often look at this as a means of making sure their business environment is fair, but for every rule change there is always a new scenario to challenge it often resulting in even more policies.

I'm certainly not calling for anarchy, but what if there were fewer rules and better decision makers? What if the business owner judged the merits of problems based on existing circumstances? What if a few common sense rules were applied to all cases?

Take for instance the constitution. In the case of our political leaders and judges they can take the constitution and amend the policy derived from the constitution to reflect a unique and sometimes isolated case that is often applied to cases it probably should be applied to.

Sometimes laws can be enacted that are book length in their detail. When lawyers look at policy they make sure there are plenty of 'provisos' and 'therefores' to assist in covering a business from litigation.

I suppose it may be necessary to enact sweeping policies simply because we exist in a litigious society.

It would be nice if common sense would prevail in all situations, however the truth is more and more we are being asked to ensure that we are spelling out in the clearest way possible the expectations we have for employees and what our customers can expect from us when they choose to do business with us.

Even if we exist in an environment where we have to go overboard to explain ourselves it still makes sense to attempt to refine our objectives into a distilled and simplified form that helps our customers understand our core values. These should be the primary directives that help guide everything we do. Policies should only be revised in light of our core values.

Decision-making requires thinking, but when you know more about who you are as a business the easier the decision-making will be.

The one thing every business owner tries to avoid is bogging down his or her ability to do business in a proverbial sea of red tape. While this scenario is desired it is often nearly impossible as policy manuals continue to grow at an alarming rate.

It can be hard to balance the business of business with marketing and decision making, but the time that you take in making the machine run more smoothly is time that make your business more vibrant and flexible both now and in the future.
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