I’m dedicating today’s post to the new-business start up in particular. Whether you fall into that category or you already run your own successful firm, no matter. If you work for someone-else, no matter. There really is something for everyone in today’s post. So grab your favourite drink and settle in!
My guess is, you spend too much of your time doing jobs another person could do instead. So what? Well, the time you spend doing those things is time you’re not spending moving your business forward. I see many small business owners drowning in the admin. The important but time-consuming things “you just gotta’ do” when you run a business.
For example, take a look at this list of 20 things that need doing in your business in the modern day. The list is not exhaustive. It is also not presented in any particular order:
- Attract new business
- Convert prospects to paying customers
- Public relations work
- Grow your list
- Update the website
- Post to Twitter and Facebook
- Manage your Google ads, your Facebook ads, your Twitter ads
- Create and execute a marketing plan
- Manage bookings or orders
- Gather customer feedback and do something with it
- Measure and track your key performance indicator numbers
- Develop your product or service
- Write job descriptions
- Hire (and fire) staff
- Train staff
- Order stationary
- Buy refreshments, toilet paper and such like
- Clean the office
- Payroll, book-keeping and accounts
- File tax returns
- The list goes on and on.
If you have started a business, then you know, despite your best efforts, you can not do all this alone. You try to. But it just doesn’t work. You have to get to a point where you recognize you need other people.
What is holding you back from getting someone-else to help? Typically, new business owners suffer from one of these three “Killer Fs”
- Founderitis. Borne out of fear, business owners fear letting go and allowing others to make decisions. This stops the business from achieving its true potential. It also stops your people from being the best they can be.
- Fatigue. Many founders work tirelessly all week on the business and not stopping to take stock and make sure they are heading in the right direction. It is essential for business owners to stop, rest and make sure they are going in the right direction – today.
- Failure. Not writing down how you do things means no-one else will ever do it the way you want it done. If you are not around to supervise, jobs will perhaps get done, but not the way you want.
So, you see, the point of today’s post is simple. Start writing stuff down as you do it. Sure, for the first year your focus has to be on sales and bringing money in the door. However, the point is: if you make something a habit, it becomes part of the way you work.
Do you save money from your salary every month? Do you put some money aside perhaps for a holiday fund? Or perhaps you put the money you know you budget every month for the bills into a separate pot? At first, was that hard to do? I bet it was. But after a couple of months, you get used to the fact you don’t have that money to play with. You also enjoy the piece of mind that your bills will be taken care of. All because you set the money aside just after your paycheck cleared.
Well, I am suggesting that writing down HOW you do things AS you do them is a discipline you need. It is a muscle you need to train. For a couple of years now, I have been using Evernote and other tools like it to write down what steps I take to do something.
The next step for me is to turn those ‘notes’ into a training manual. Another way of doing that would be to record short training videos. Either way, I am building up a library of procedures that I can turn into training material. That way, I give myself a far greater chance of leveraging my time better once I get someone-else to do the tasks for me.
Looking to the future, if you have any ambition of really growing your business in a transformational way, this will help too. Perhaps you are thinking about setting up a franchise model? If so, writing down the way you expect things to be done is a big part of making sure your ‘model’ is repeatable and can scale. It is therefore essential you have written things down along the way.
So How about you? Where are you on the journey? Did you write stuff down whilst you were doing it and did that save you time the second time around? Or perhaps you were able to use that material to create training material for your team. I would love to know.
Are you finding this series of any use? Please leave a comment below and do join the discussion on Twitter. Remember to use the hashtag: #CHA30DayChallenge
Thanks for stopping by and see you for more tomorrow friends!
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