One of my clients told me that she was on first name terms with all of her customers. I congratulated her but privately it worried me greatly. Her company was five years old with 10 employees and a 50+ customer base. Of course, knowing all her customers personally demonstrated her commitment and the hard work she puts in 24 / 7. That’s because she does everything! And that’s not healthy, for her or her business.
Like so many business owners, she needs to step away from the day-to-day. It doesn’t necessarily signal retirement. If you’re one of these people with 100 ideas before their first cup of coffee, you need the time and space to test them out. Stop micromanaging and start delegating is the consensus and, whilst I agree wholeheartedly (well I would wouldn’t I?!), I absolutely understand that it’s a really hard principle to accept. When you come up with an idea for a business, spend every minute of every hour getting it to earn enough income to make a profit, why would you hand over control?
Because it’s what the business needs: you to recognise your value as a leader, and set about documenting the steps to success that you want everyone to take. I spend time with business leaders whose heads are full to bursting with all the answers, The How It’s Done. I simply get them to download and, together, we streamline the processes that they are using to run their business. Basically, they are creating a Template for their business that everyone can follow.
More control over the future, better management of the day-to-day, that’s the aim. It’s all about mindset: allowing other people to do what’s necessary and (this is key) be good at it. That’s how to save your time for more strategic work, and so secure the future of your business. I know a business coach who advises start-ups to get ready to exit their business right from day one. Too harsh for you, bit grasping? It gets worse! He assures me that the role of the ‘current owner’ always gets serious scrutiny by potential buyers as part of the risk assessment phase. Risk assessment, the very idea!
In a way, you want to be independent of your business because that’s the only way you can lead it in the direction you want it to go. You must have the freedom to flex; no more approving every quote that goes out the door, or being copied into 100+ emails. Instead, plan a trip to research that new idea, go do something new and fun – safe in the knowledge that Your Template is continuously improving the way you do business.