As a business owner, you quickly realise there’s no such thing as spare time. You’re usually involved in most (if not all) facets of your business, and you’re always busy.
It’s especially true when you’re getting your business off the ground. At this stage cash flow is vital, and so to save money you tend to do most of the work yourself instead of hiring staff or outsourcing.
However, you may find you’re still doing most of the work even after your business is well and truly established.
Why? Well, as the proprietor of the business you’re often its main contributor. The product or service you’re selling involves you in a significant way. In some cases you practically are the business, and if you didn’t do what you do there wouldn’t even be a business.
And then there’s the control aspect. Let’s face it: business owners are control freaks (and I include myself in that statement). How often have you thought, “No one can do it as well as I can” or “It’s easier to do it myself because then I know it will be done right”? After all, you’ve worked hard to build your business, and the last thing you want to do is risk it going under.
Unfortunately, this can quickly become a problem. A big one. Because although you may not admit it (or even realise it), you’ll end up being the limiting factor in the financial wellbeing of your business.
Don’t believe me? Let me explain.
Whatever business you’re running, I’m sure you’ll agree you’re the main contributor. You spend a lot of your time wearing various hats and performing various roles in your business. For example, your roles could include:
- product development
- ‘ideas person’
- debt collector
And you wonder why you’re so busy!
But you also have big plans for your business. You want to increase its revenue, customers and, ultimately, profit. And you want to be able to sustain that growth.
That’s great. Just one question: Where will you find the time to do it?
And that’s the problem with taking on all those business roles yourself. You spend all your time working in your business, and so you don’t have any time to spend on your business.
Sure, you might be able to find another 20 hours each week by sacrificing your weekends. But skewing your work/life balance like this simply isn’t sustainable, and you’ll quickly burn out. Besides, wasn’t the whole idea to start your own business so you could spend more time with your family and friends and doing what you love?
Clearly working longer hours isn’t a good option. So how can you grow your business?
Simple. Let go, start trusting other people, and stop wearing all those damn hats!
So what roles should you give to other people, and which ones should you keep for yourself?
This is something you need to decide for yourself. I couldn’t tell you even if I did know about everything you did in your business. But what I can tell you is this: Keep performing the roles where you add the most value.
Think about it. In what areas of the business do you make a real difference? Are you a brilliant salesperson? A master chef? The ultimate manager? If so, then that’s what you need to keep doing yourself.
And those roles where you don’t add much value at all, or that anyone could do just as effectively? They’re the ones you need to give to someone else.
Yes, it may eat into your revenue. Yes, you may have to spend time training and mentoring someone to take over the role. But freeing yourself from those tasks will give you the time and the capacity to grow your business and increase your revenue. So don’t think of it as a cost. Think of it as an investment.
Here’s another incentive to do it: you may find that by giving someone a specific role that they’ll do a better job than you ever could.
A lot of the work I do here at MBC involves helping clients get the key components of their business right so it can grow and flourish. And a big part of that involves working out:
- where they contribute the most to their business (i.e. where they provide the most value)
- what roles they currently fill that could be handled by someone else.
So stop holding your business back. Start taking off some of those hats, and give your business the chance to reach its full potential.