As a business owner, it is important to understand your value. Many business owners find it very difficult to step away from the process and let the people they hired do their jobs. You may be familiar with the phrase “If you want something right, do it yourself.” Unfortunately, many business owners live this motto, even if they don’t realize it.
To make matters worse, living this motto is costing you a lot of money.
Chances are, the most important job you are performing right now can be done by someone else just as well or at least 90% as well as you can. You may need to ask yourself what you can be doing that no other person can do for your business.
For some business owners, this means networking, while for others, it means learning as much as possible about their industry and running a successful business.
As the business owner, you will need to position your business in such a way that it can essentially run itself if you were in a coma for six months. While this visualization is a bit somber, it is important to understand how efficient your business needs to be.
If you feel like it is difficult to take a vacation for a week, what would happen to your business if you or a loved one were sick for a prolonged period of time? If that visualization scares you, it is important that your business becomes a well-oiled machine.
This is achievable by having systems in place that allow each employee you have hired to do their job without your involvement, direct or otherwise.
You can create a self-operating system within your business by designing and assigning roles, delegating, and automating. Each portion of the process is imperative to creating a business that essentially can run itself! Once you have freed yourself up from the general operating tasks of the business, you can truly take your business to the next level.
Design and Assign Roles
This is a crucial element of any successful business. Think of any corporate retail store – there are always sales associates, greeters, and managers. Each position has a specific set of responsibilities that each team member knows they can fall back on for their shift. For example, the sales associate knows that if there is a lull of customers, that they should clean and organize the sales station.
The greeter knows that if there is a lull in traffic, that they should generally straighten the store. The manager knows that if there is a lull in business and their tasks for the day are done, that they can start on the tasks for the next shift. At no point do any of the team members need to call the CEO of the corporation to find out what they need to do next.
For your business, it is important to figure out what it is that you do now that can be done by another employee. For example, if you spend a disproportionate of time analyzing profit spreadsheets, then you need to make an Analyst role.
If you spend much of your time reviewing employees, then you need to make a Human Resources role. If you spend some of your time tabulating a deposit, then you ensure that one of your employee roles has the responsibility of handling the deposit.
Ensure that anything that needs to be done within the business model is covered by a role. Ensure that each role has a list of responsibilities and explains the priority of each responsibility.
As you have now assigned roles and responsibilities to your employees (and possibly hired new employees to cover any gaps), it is important to delegate. Delegating has two facets. The first facet revolves around you – anything you find yourself doing consistently should be delegated. The objective is to transition away from the main functions of the business. As the business owner, you should only be intervening when absolutely necessary.
The second facet to delegation is for there to be a hierarchy within your system of employees. While you should focus on getting tasks and responsibilities off of your plate, it is important that you are delegating to an employee whose job it is to handle delegation of tasks and responsibilities.
Automation is a great step in transitioning from the center of your business. Automation is as simple as having tasks and responsibilities that are non-negotiable and are done on a strict schedule. Some examples include:
- Deposit Preparation
- Janitorial Duties
- Energy Management (Lights On/Off)
- Mail Sorting
For automation, you can also set daily email/message reminders that remind your team members about their scheduled tasks. This can be done once and would only need to be done again as you get new employees. You can also have a data email go out automatically each day or week that notifies team members of key items from any spreadsheet you prefer. If you want your team to know about sales numbers, profit/loss numbers, excess hours available for work, etc., you can do so through automated email systems.
You can also use task managing systems that will automatically notify you as team members have marked their tasks as complete.
It is important that as you implement these steps, that you begin to transition away from the center of the business. Once you are no longer completing basic tasks, you can focus on the growth and development of your business. You can now think of ways to expand your business – and spend the time implementing them.
You can now go to various entrepreneur seminars where you can learn more about running a successful business. You can also attend industry-related training that will help you learn more about your industry, as everything is constantly changing in this digital era. Ultimately, you will be able to spend the time necessary to nurture your business into a model of true success.