Stop Taking on Too Much – Delegate and Direct
As business owners, chances are that we need other people in our team to support us, whether these are employees, contractors, or other forms of outsourced support. And sometimes managing staff, with various personalities and a range of skill-sets can feel like herding goldfish, right?
Too often, small business owners try to save money by personally undertaking all of the tasks required to run their business. However, this is very much a false economy, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, often the ancillary tasks that the business owner is performing herself are worth a lower hourly rate than the task for which they invoice their clients. For instance, people often undertake their own bookkeeping, grudgingly, rather than paying a qualified bookkeeping, say, $40 per hour. But if they spend 10 hours per month doing the bookkeeping, and a bookkeeper might get this done in 5 hours, they would have spent $200 and purchased back 10 valuable hours of their time!
More than this, if their own professional skill-set was charged out at $50 per hour, they have potentially spent $200 to make $500, PLUS they are gaining exposure in their own field, rather than being hidden away in their back office.
Secondly, as well as the opportunity cost of not having the hours to be working with clients or customers, hence forfeiting valuable time which could be charged for, business owners are also diminishing their worth by not taking every opportunity to be seen in their professional field, or, alternatively, networking or marketing to raise their profile and positioning, or to be working ON their business, by planning, training support staff, or implementing systems to gain efficiency.
Naturally, we encounter a range of personalities among our team of people, as well as the desired range of skill-sets and strengths. As the ‘conductor’ of this ‘band’ it is important to have some skills in staff leadership and people management, but this does not need to be onerous and painful.
Firstly, identify the ROLES within your business, many of which you may fill personally at present, but nonetheless are there: admin, finance, manufacture, delivery, sales, compliance, HR, etc. Then identify the requisite TASKS within each of these roles, again many of which may be currently performed by yourself. This framework enables you to breakdown the job descriptions to hire others to fill the roles, either full-time, part-time, or as-needs, with the tasks suited to the person you hire, and to their area of expertise. Also consider whether the role lends itself to more of an introverted or extroverted personality, as this can have a significant bearing on the outcomes produced by team members.
Overall, look at what your ‘cashflow drivers’ are, the key tasks for which you raise an invoice, seek to maximise your time spent doing this, while gradually identifying other tasks needed and delegating to appropriate team members or out-sourcing options.