This blog will follow on from my previous blog based around the art of delegation which is vital when trying to build your business. As I explained in detail in my last blog, which you can read here if you missed it, as you begin to grow your business, there’s no way you can continue to complete all of the work yourself. You can’t be a Jack of all trades so how do you make sure you’re working effectively to generate more revenue? Here’s just a few of my thoughts on the topic!
- Look at which tasks you need to complete
When trying to work effectively, look at the tasks that you really need to take care of and which your staff can do. I mentioned my Urgent and Important matrix in my last blog and I’d like to reinforce how important I think it is here. The matrix will help you to prioritise your tasks and make sure you are using your precious time effectively. Your priorities may change on each day as new tasks come in and become more important. Don’t forget that you can always pass on the Urgent and Not Important on to your staff if they fall within their remit!
2. Looking at areas of expertise
As a business owner it is natural to start off as a Jack of all trades. When I first started Coconut Creatives, I took care of all the bookkeeping, copywriting, answering the phones and meeting clients. However, as the business grew and I began to gain more and more clients I realised that my time just wasn’t going to stretch that far. When you get to this point, or even before you reach this point, I recommend that you look at which areas of the business are getting bigger and look at recruiting a good 6-12 months ahead of where you currently are. You don’t want to get to the point where you physically can’t do anymore work and then have to recruit and train another member of staff! Remember that it can take 3-6 months to properly train a member of staff so that they are independent and do not rely on you all the time. It will just put pressure on yourself than you have already. Plus, it could take you a good few months to find the right employee. This is another essential part of working effectively and I will elaborate more later.
In addition to bringing in members of staff to help you on a daily basis in the office, I also highly recommend that you get help with the financials of the business such as your accounts and bookkeeping. These activities can be completed by an outsourced company and is much cheaper than bringing in a full-time member of staff. If there’s only one area you look to get help in I strongly recommend that it is this. You spend money in this area but you will be able to see regular management accounts which can give you the information to make decisions about your business growth accurately.
Outsourcing to a company such as Rosemary Bookkeeping will leave more of your time free to focus on your Urgent and Important tasks! We outsourced our bookkeeping to Rosemary for many years but our business has grown so much that we have now decided to take it in-house.
- Vision and enjoyment
Working to grow your business is all about having a passion and vision for what you are doing. As you grow, it is important to keep the lines of communication open with everyone that is a part of your business, this helps to make sure that everyone is on the same page and you’re all working towards the same goals. It’s extremely unusual to have a full team who all share your passion for the business but I like to thinks that everyone at Coconut is working together and everyone feels part of the magic we are creating. At Coconut, I always try to recruit staff who I know will share my vision for the business. This means that the business stays on track and staff remain motivated to succeed and help me to achieve my goals. If you don’t genuinely love your business and what you’re doing, you will find it difficult to succeed and your staff will not feel the passion radiating from you and so will not be motivated to help you achieve your goals.
As you can see, there is a fine balance in making sure your business remains effective and your team share your passion for the business. If you expect your business to grow, there’s no way you can continue to take on all of the work yourself. I learnt this very quickly at Coconut. You have to keep your customers happy and if you’re delaying work simply because you can’t do it all yourself, then it is time to think about the structure of your business and which tasks can be outsourced and which need a member of staff, either part-time or full-time, to take care of them.
My recommended reading for this blog
I highly recommend reading Seth Godin’s books and, in particular, Tribes. Seth has a great sense of humour and the books are relatively short and easy to read so good to fit in around your busy business! In Tribes, Seth explains how we all have an opportunity to start a movement and to bring a group of like-minded people together in order to do amazing things. It is we as business owners who have a great opportunity to do this in a way that benefits everyone!