My report card

As a parent, I’ve made my way through a lot of report cards & progress reports. As a business owner, I conduct quarterly reviews and read a lot of self-assessment reports. The goal of the self-assessment is to give the employee a chance to reflect and think about how they’re doing and, hopefully, to see the growth they’ve made while working here. I was talking about this with a friend of mine, who jokingly said ‘lucky that no one is assessing you.’

Snarky friends. Gotta love them. Sigh.

However, her comment lingered in my head. I toyed around with asking for a peer review, and quickly nixed that idea. Too scary. What I opted to do instead was to give myself my very own report card.

report card 001
How am I doing, Mom???


Planning Ahead: For organized people, planning ahead is easy. You set goals, you have your to-do list, you get to work and get the job done. I like to think I’m pretty organized, but I can (and need to) do much better. I am a list-lover. The only problem? My lists live on the backs of envelopes, on one of my many note pads, sticky notes, my phone, or in really bad situations, on the back of my hand.  Needless-to-say, the system is flawed. In this business, I have to be able to be fluid and nimble, and planning ahead only works until the next huge order comes through. Here’s the good news: I’m about as prepared as I can be to react quickly. It may not be as good as being an excellent planner, but it keeps everything chugging in the right direction. In a nutshell, I’m not a total failure in this category, but I’ve got a lot of work to do to get an A.

Keeping my office organized: There are two kinds of organizational cleaners. One type likes all surfaces to be clean, but open any drawer, and more often than not, you’ll find chaos & clutter. The other type of organizational cleaner likes to clean from the inside out. That’s me. My drawers are organized, my filing cabinet alphabetized. The only drawback of this is that I tend to collect piles. Everywhere. Once a month or so, I do an office cleanse on the weekend. I go through the various piles, make new piles, eventually find homes for everything, and enjoy the neat, tidy results when I come to work on Monday morning. Unfortunately, the piles eventually re-surface. Again, another area that needs a lot of improvement.

Inventory:  No comment.

Communication: One would think that the amount of time I spend on the phone or out on the floor talking with everyone, that I would give myself an A+ for communication. I almost gave myself a good mark for this, until I really thought about my communication skills. I think being a good communicator is closely linked with being organized.  I think I’m very good at taking care of people, whether they’re employees, customers, friends or strangers. Where I fall short is on the planning end of communication, such as letting my co-workers know when the holiday party will be this year. Sooooo, yeah. Holiday party. As soon as I plan it, I’ll let you guys know.

Facilities Maintenance: This year has been the year of the machine at Bisousweet. We have a lot of new machines, and more machines mean more maintenance, tools, repairs and patience. All I have to say is that I owe a large portion of my A in this subject to Kenny G. The rest of this grade I’ve earned the hard way, by climbing on ladders, using ‘real’ tools, being on the phone for hours with customer service reps and begging my neighbors for help.

Customer Service: This is one area that I have never had a problem. A friend of mine once gave me The Ten Commandments for Managing a Young Growing Business. I read them almost every day. The third commandment says that The Customer is King. It’s something I believe 100%, and my daily actions are proof of how fully I am committed to taking care of my customers.

Financial Analysis:  Slowly but surely, I am making my way through the Joel Friedman MBA program. I hope to graduate in 2020.

Next month, maybe I’ll get up the guts to ask a co-worker to fill out my report card.  Jokes aside, I highly recommend doing this exercise. It’s made me think & gave me a bit of time to reflect.

Time to start cleaning my office.


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Owner, Baker,
& Storyteller

You know that friend who has it all together? Yeah. That’s not me. What I can offer you instead are my experiences, insights, and passions. Pithy observations about making cookies. Wry commentary on running a business. Loving (if slightly sarcastic) parenting advice. And if that doesn’t interest you, I have dogs. Cute ones.

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