Do you feel trapped in the weeds?
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning and running your own small business, you might have had glorious thoughts of building a wonderful culture with like-minded, go-getting, dynamic people. Maybe it was your dream to be your own boss and run your own business operations, better manage your work/life balance, and actually live the life of someone who could have a career and spend time with the family.
Gorgeous, glorious dreams.
And then reality dawns. You’re constantly in the office, dealing simultaneously with suppliers, payroll, meetings, difficult clients and staff that sometimes don’t show up.
The wonder of running your own business might look a lot different in the cold light of day. So, what kind of telltale signs might you see that your business is not as you had hoped?
- Do you spend your day fighting fires or solving a billion tiny problems that could probably be sorted out by someone else?
- Do you feel at the mercy of your clients, employees and shareholders?
- Is your email inbox permanently showing hundreds of unread emails?
- Does your small business feel like a weight on your shoulders?
Does any of this sound familiar? What happened to the dream?
What happened, is that your business is now running you, not the other way round. You have become a slave to your desk and are bound by the very processes and business operations that you first established.
It’s time to stop the nightmare and get back to where you wanted to be.
Become the leader you always planned to be
You must transition away from being the super employee for the business. It’s time to take back control and set some direction for your business, monitor results, and delegate tasks to others.
Set some rules – and stick to them
You can’t be involved in every meeting, every action or every decision. It’s an inefficient use of your time and doesn’t offer your employees any feeling of empowerment. Split up the workload and let your people make decisions that are guided by you and your vision of the company, but not made by you.
This might sound distinctly uncomfortable and for the first few times you do it, it may well not be something you’re happy with at all. A good operations consultant will be able to help you decide where and how to start. Why not give the team at Take the Stairs a call at (615) 219-9181?
Hire the right people
Don’t try and do everything yourself: it’s an inefficient use of your time. Whether it’s full-time people in your office, freelancers who work intermittently on specific projects, or specialists that you hire by the hour, choose your team and skill set carefully. After all, you’re building a culture at the same time as hiring in the right skills. Take time to involve your team in all decisions big and small as this will help to foster investment in what you’re building. If you win, you all win.
Organize your processes
Document your processes and look at them in detail for what might go wrong.
- Do you have potential bottlenecks, delays or too many people involved in something simple?
- Is there only one person in the team who can perform a certain task? What happens if that person quits?
- Look for processes that can be automated, or made simpler and more efficient through the use of technology.
- Map out scenarios so that everyone in the team knows what needs to happen if X happens.
As a business owner, time is what you have least of. But it’s an extraordinarily valuable asset that you mustn’t lose sight of. Make time to:
- Look at the bigger picture
- Document your business plan and build reusable templates
- Define and create a simple business framework from which everyone operates
- Hang out with staff and get to know them