This winter has not been kind to my figure. In fact, it’s been downright brutal. So, in an effort to shed a couple of rolls, I began tossing around the idea of a weight loss contest.

After a bit of bantering, a few of my coworkers and I — who also admittedly ventured to the bottom of Old Man Winter’s cookie jar — decided to give it a go. And, I’m happy to report, since starting this journey in early March, many of us have already shed 3-4 percent of our body weights. Hooray. Only three more chins to go before I can reintroduce my jawline.

Bite by Bite

Weight loss is not an easy endeavor, and I’m not diligent enough to do it on my own. Let’s face it, temptation is an evil sin and pizza is my kryptonite. And given that my wife and those I share cubicles with have joined the contest (misery loves company), I found myself void of moral support. Thus, I turned to the App Store in search of something to keep me honest. There, I stumbled upon an app called Lose It. We all know the key to weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. This program tracks just that, offering various pie graphs (Mmm … pie…) and metrics showing your progress.

And, if you think counting calories is easy, I invite you to give it a try. Nothing confirms your overindulgence than truthfully tracking your daily eating habits. Who knew Pop Tarts were so bad for you?

Cut that Fat

Does your company need to shed some fat? Perhaps it’s time to slice some of those empty “calories” from your company’s diet. If so, here are a few places to start.

• Examine Purchasing Habits — Are you buying the right types and amounts of equipment? Or, are you holding systems for three years and then slashing prices to simply get rid of them? Perhaps there is a better way to handle supply and demand.

• Consider the Cloud — Storing data in the cloud will eliminate unnecessary computer maintenance, antivirus software, operating system updates, and more. More and more studies are showing that business information is safe if stored with reputable cloud services. And, as a bonus, you’ll be able to access data from any place, at any time.

• Hire an Intern — Interns or apprentices typically come at a lower cost than newly hired full-timers. These newbies are typically eager to learn and impress, and having them around offers you an in-depth opportunity to examine if they’re a good fit for future full-time employment.

• Cut the Nonessentials — We all love when the boss treats us to lunch. But, the bill for 20 employees at $15 a meal, 12 times a year, adds up. That $3,600 could likely be used in a better manner. If you must treat your guys to lunch, consider ordering a pizza. Also, do your techs really need the iPad Air or iPhone5S? Older models will suffice.

• Start Your Own Contest — Have you considered starting your own weight loss contest? Such a contest could result in a healthier, closer, and more energized crew. Who doesn’t love a little friend-
ly competition?

• Ask Your Clients — No, really. Follow up with them and see how they felt your team performed. What could you have done better? Were your guys efficient? This can help streamline the next service call, and it shows you care about your customers before, during, and after you’ve left the scene.

None of these things are going to come easily. But, neither does a 10K run. However, in the end, you’ll emerge a leaner, meaner, fighting machine, better prepared to serve your clients and, ultimately, with more money in your pocket — which is the real reason you run a business.

On a side note, if you see NEWS editors Jen Anesi or Matt Bishop on the road this spring, feel free to invite them out to a buffet, spring for a steak, or spoon feed them lard, for all I care. I’ve got a contest to win and I need all the help I can get.

Publication date: 4/7/2014 

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