Why Operations Is The Refresh Button In A Business

Leah Davis
3 min readJan 28, 2021

What if Gmail never refreshed? Social media? Youtube? What would happen?

Every time you checked Gmail, there would be no emails. Every time you checked social media, there would always be the same posts. Every time you checked Youtube, there would be the same videos.

What’s the problem with that? First of all, it’d be boring! Nobody would scroll for hours, trust me. Other than that, what would be a fundamental issue? What is the problem with everything staying the same?

Seriously! Think about it!

Well, let’s think about what it would be like if a business never changed. The Department Of Transportation for example. Nobody likes the DOT. Why? Ask anyone and they’ll tell you horror stories of waiting for hours, frustrated people, and plenty of confusion to go around. Do you know what the DOT’s biggest problem is? Other than the fact that they are literally the saying, “Good enough for government work.”

They stay the same! They never work to improve their systems, workflow, or anything else! Granted, that is the government’s fault that they don’t do that. They don’t need a positive customer review. There is no drive to improve. I know some elements of the DOT run better than others, but I think we can all agree that getting a license is not a fun experience. The point here is that change is crucial for an actual business to succeed!

A business needs to try new things and strive to improve! Even in areas that don’t seem to require improvement.

Fall of 2020, I started working for a local quilt shop. I heard that the owner was overwhelmed by how her system was organized. It caused her a lot of stress and she was looking for someone who was tech-savvy and organized enough to figure out a better system. I volunteered to work for her. I knew nothing about fabric, her system, or the program she used.

She started teaching me and I soaked it in. As soon as I had a foundation of knowledge, I asked any questions that came to mind. I asked her questions about her products, what their systems were, and about the website platform. I call myself her website manager but I really am her Chief of Operations.

I’ve designed signs, re-organized fabrics, patterns, kits, and made a cheat sheet to help them know what categories to add a new fabric line to. These are just a couple of projects I have tackled. This is the definition of an operations role, jumping all over the place solving problems and improving systems.

Operations help businesses grow by working out the kinks. The best businesses I see are ones that are trying new things and working out problems. Operations make changes for the better. Operations are the refresh button.

Originally published at http://leahfayedavis.com on January 28, 2021.