messy businessMany businesses lose thousands of dollars each year due to their chronically messy business. Disorder tends to cause tension for those forced to spend their days dealing with it and living in it!

I hope you’ll indulge me, telling you an ancient story about a woman who lost a very valuable coin. You might imagine, she was distraught!

The woman searched frantically all over her house to find the missing coin, but to no avail; that is, for a time.


Since, “for a time,” the woman couldn’t find the coin tells me she might have been sort of a hoarder. It’s likely she had lots of disorganized stuff lying around everywhere. I’m picturing closets and drawers stuffed to bursting; shelves piled with junk; tools and other household items heaped haphazardly, etc. Can you relate?

The fact is—that’s a picture of my company many years ago, until I discovered a way to fix it!

Fixing your Messy Business

I recall, about 15 years ago I was very overwhelmed and discouraged with all the mess and clutter in our own company.  I had already learned to use the power of systems for improving quality and service in my business. However, I had NO CLUE about what to do with my messy business, and it continued to be a major frustration.

Around the same time, our production manager was thinking to fire one of our most loyal employees, due to the ongoing mess in his work area. Specifically, no matter how many times the employee was told to “fix it,” nothing changed.  I had to agree, it was one of the most chaotic areas in our company. Actually, his area was downright embarrassing (sort of like my own office and desk, at that time)!

Some people just don’t have a natural knack for keeping order, like that employee, and even me, the business owner! Consequently, SOMETHING had to be done about it!

Did that woman ever find her lost coin, you wonder? Yes, she did. But, only after deciding to clean her entire house from top to bottom; every room, closet, shelf and drawer.  She swept every corner of her house clean, and finally found her most prized possession.

How I Fixed My Mess Problem

I wrote extensively in my book, System Busters: How to Stop Them In Your Business, how I finally fixed “the mess problem.” It was not only for that messy (and almost UN-employed) employee, but for all other areas of our business. But, I won’t go into detail here.  However, I will give you a hint…

I did the same thing the lady did who lost her precious coin. We cleaned the place from top to bottom; every room, closet, shelf and drawer. We labeled, filed and sorted for days. Moreover, in the process, I couldn’t believe what we found doing this extensive cleaning in every department. Missing tools and valuable parts were uncovered. In fact, in a Prepress Department cabinet, I found unopened boxes of film that had expired more than a year before.

Don’t be one of those companies that lose thousands of dollars a year, due to mess and clutter!  I encourage you to do as that woman (and even I) had to do:

Clean up your Messy Business!

No, you may not discover a valuable coin—but, believe me, if you measure your losses in dollars, you will be shocked!

Additionally, let me say, cleaning a house or a business is a worthwhile goal. However, the truth is, without a SYSTEM of cleaning, your efforts will return to chaos in the blink of an eye!

Does this describe your company; struggling with disorder in your business or your home? Then I suggest you look into the “5s” program, a system of cleaning taught in lean management. OR…

You can simply read in my book, about the “100% System of Cleanliness.”

Did I mention? Great Systems Work!