As you know, momready has recently hired two new staffers. Each time we add employees, I take the time to put down on paper some of the work I have been doing so I can delegate these jobs to the staffers. In other words, the business can't just all exist in my head as it did in the beginning when I was the only employee.
In this case I made a Production Schedule which showed all the articles we plan to run in a month. In theory we like to run one article from each section of momready plus a Recipe and a Rant every other week. Well when I actually put this down on paper I found out a thing or two about the business.
Number one, we were in fact not running an article from each section each month, in fact not by a long shot. Some of this had to do with the fact that we have added several regular columnists and some of it had to do with the fact that without a Production Schedule we were flying blind.
Number two, we actually have more sections than days in the month. Who knew? So now we must take a long hard look at what we are writing and decide if it really matters if we run one of every type article a month or if we should rename any of our sections.
This notion of renaming sections is a tricky one. I've heard countless stories of how other websites have renamed their departments or changed their homepage and then suddenly lost their web traffic. It seems that change, which may be good for the business internally, is often hard for readers to adjust to and instead of adapting they just give up. I'm sure their traffic returned over time, but with a small business this could be disastrous.
Finally, by using the Production Schedule everyone in our office can see the work that needs to be done in a clear and simple way. But please note that the article schedule did not just exist floating around in my head. I did actually have it on a calendar in my computer. However, I was the only one with access to the often changing information. Now the information is not only available for everyone to see but also add their ideas to.
No matter what type of business you have, this type of schedule or list a great excercise, even if you are a one person operation. Not only will you organize your thoughts but I've found each time I gain some valuable information about the business.