You’re a smart, hardworking entrepreneur, and you’re moving fast. You are highly educated in your field and your business is growing and getting busier each day. But, somehow, you find yourself stuck. You’re doing more tasks that take you away from your core business; you are working more and earning less. You need help. Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone, anyone, out there who could help you take away some of the daily tasks so you could focus on the things you really love?
Maybe you’ve looked, tried to work with or even hired people to help you manage your business. But somehow, every time, things just didn’t go right, and there you were, left again with the mounds of paperwork, details and projects to manage. Alone.
No problem, you tell yourself. I can do it faster myself anyway.
In that one statement, you just fell into the biggest trap of your entrepreneurial career.
Growing and leading your business is by far the biggest challenge a business owner faces. After all, you are highly specialized in your field – which is not business management. Unfortunately for most business owners, when a new employee or contractor comes into the business, one of two things usually happens.
1. The business owner and new hire spend hours, days, weeks and sometimes months working side by side, with the business owner explaining all of the intricacies of the job. When the employee or contractor gets good at the job, the business owner begins to panic, wondering if the person will stay. When the person leaves the company, the process repeats. Frustration, fear and doubt plague the business owner.
2. The new person is hired and told briefly what is expected of him/her. The big picture is provided and the person is left up to his or her own judgment as to how the job gets done. The person does the job in a different manner than the owner and is reprimanded for doing things a new way. The employee feels disempowered, afraid, and leaves. Frustration, fear and doubt plague the business owner once again.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
You can have the freedom, focus and results you want in business. Solving this problem is simple. You probably weren’t trained in school as a business manager, so you must first understand that business operations management is a required skill for a success in business. Most people make it too hard by hoping for a single person to show up on their doorstep, smart, focused, creative and able to take away the tasks that lay before them with hardly a second thought. I’m about to burst your bubble because that person is probably already in business for themselves. It’s up to you to create the environment where other people can be empowered to assist you. Here are four simple steps to get you started on the road to turn-key success.
1. Create total focus.
Get out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Title the page Total Focus. On the left side, write down all of the tasks you do in a week, from answering the phone to shipping to providing service and creating new products. On the right side, write down the three things you love doing. Compare the lists.
2. Group tasks for easy delegation.
Next to each task, label it with one of the three major business areas:
Administrative (office paperwork)
Sales/Marketing (attracting customers or making the sale)
Production (producing/shipping and delivery of products or services)
3. Start Documenting.
For each task, write down the steps to completion. You might start with Here’s How We _____________ to prompt you. Use whatever method is simplest for you – a screenshot, written or typed steps, diagrams – just get it down on paper and put it in a binder called Procedure Manual.
4. Get Help.
Begin looking for people to work on tasks that are not in your love to do column. Start small. The right person works only a few hours per week on the things that take you days.
There is no magic person who can do all business tasks (except you, of course!). With your Procedure Manual in hand, you can delegate properly, relax and enjoy building your business the simple way.
Stephanie Frank is the author of The Accidental Millionaire, a complete blueprint for entrepreneurs to go from a one person operation to million dollar mastery. To download instructions and worksheets to build your own Procedure Manual, go to the free tools section of www.AccidentalMillionaire.com