Small business owners everywhere, from the father and son neighborhood plumbing business to financial advisor in the high rise downtown struggle with the same thing. They all struggle with the notion that they should be working on their business and not in it. If you want your business to grow and thrive then you need to be the guy looking at the big picture, you need to steer the ship not be the guy pulling the oars. You need to systems in place that facilitate growth and allow you to work with more clients.
How do even begin to do that when you are bogged down with the details of running your business everyday? Here’s how you get started.
Keep a Journal
You need an accurate record of just what you do everyday. Pick an average week and track every single minute of your day, breaking it down into 15-30 minute increments. It will be incredibly tedious but also incredibly valuable. Once you have finished it’s time to take a look and break your activities down into what you can hire someone else to do and what needs your attention. Ask yourself the following questions as you look at what you did the past week.
- Is this making me money right now? This is stuff like making sales and signing contracts
- Is this going to make me money in the future? This stuff like networking and finding new clients or getting more inventory to sell in the future.
- Is this busy work? This is stuff like cleaning the office/storefront, minor paperwork and most business owners spend too much time doing things like this.
- Can you outsource this task?
- Is there something else that needs your attention more?
Yes, closing deals pays the bills but at the same time you need to be focused on business growth and the tasks that allow you to do that. More often than not business growth gets set aside in favor of things that demand your attention right now.
Learn to Delegate:
Many small business owners find this incredibly difficult. You have poured blood, sweat and tears into your business and the thought of turning even part of it over to someone else goes against the grain. This is costing you money, and you need to realize that quickly. Start with getting someone to cover smaller tasks such as some administrative work then take your time finding someone to handle more important tasks like customer service. Work on tasks that your both good at and that will make you money. All the rest can be outsourced and delegated. You can either hire someone locally to help you or get a virtual assistant. Advances in technology make getting a virtual assistant incredibly easy, there are websites you can find VAs such as Freelancer or Upwork. Here is a video showing you hire to successfully hire a VA.
Get Yourself Organized
It’s a common misconception that business owners are organized….if only! Once you have an assistant then it is time to let them handle some of your work and set aside blocks of time for you to work on your business. Lock yourself in your office and set some goals, work on your business plan or put together a marketing plan. Whatever task you decide to do make a plan and set some deadlines. You will seeing results in no time.