At the end of the day, having a clear mind and specific and concise objectives for the next day keeps your work in the office as you step out. Running a business with multiple locations with finesse takes prioritizing and organizing. As in learning anything new, certain skills may be awkward at first. It is, however, worth the effort as you enter into the world of becoming a productive multi-site manager.
The first key to multi-site management is an established Policy and Procedure manual. Employees need to be aware of the policies at their time of hire. They also need to have the opportunity to review them in their entirety at least annually. In addition, the administration of the business must refer to policies often in their conversations with all staff members. It is important to remember that an informed staff is a staff that can operate effectively in your absence.
As a multi-site manager, it is imperative to examine each location's administration. Do you have a person who is knowledgeable about your policies and procedures, level-headed, organized, and professional? If you have this person, then ask yourself who you are grooming to become the location's next manager. Is this person your second-in command? Do both of these staff members know the location of important information and state licensing regulations?
Minimally, each location should have this team of managers in place. To feel validated, they should be able to make some key decisions that directly affect the operation of the location. Once you have your key personnel in place, it is imperative to train them in an efficient system of location management. You can accomplish this training through organization and delegation.
Begin with a simple method of implementing the "touch it once" system. Train your managers (and yourself) to only touch things once, read them, and file them in their proper place. This eliminates a great deal of wasted time and keeps any important information from being lost.
At the beginning of the day, make sure that everyone reviews their to-do list created the prior evening. Assure that everyone who you work with directly has three things: a notepad, pen and calendar. This is to ensure that others around you know your commitments as well as their own. As a multi-site manager, be sure to e-mail your agenda to a location one day before your meeting with the location manager. It helps them be prepared and not spend time searching for information.
The next important lesson to learn is that with delegation comes success. Next Monday write down everything you do during your day at work. Then examine your list and determine what items on this list can be completed by another person.
The key to delegation is not only selecting the proper task to delegate, but to whom to delegate it. You might be thinking that if you give a task away, the person who completes it will not be able to complete it half as well as you can. This may be somewhat true, but not entirely accurate.