Don’t you just love all those travel offers that stack up in your inbox overnight? All those wonderful offers from far-flung places you’d love to visit, but you never get the time or the money. Or maybe you do have plans in place for a family holiday, but when it comes to getting in the car, the inevitable happens. There’s a breakdown on the production line, an employee calls in sick, a supplier fails you or a customer has an ‘emergency’.
Luck of the Irish? Or bad management skills? You may not realise it, but if you’re the type of person who can always fix the problem, faster and better than anyone else, you maybe you are your company’s biggest problem.
You’ve most likely heard of the phrase, “you need to work on your business, not in it”. If you are finding yourself involved in the day to day operations of your business, you are not going to find the time to take your business to the next level. If you’re still finding excuses for not extracting yourself from the daily grind, then you are always going to stay stuck in that rut.
We’ve all gone down that road full of excuses about why our business is not growing or why we can’t stop working in it. These are all excuses, not reasons and they may sound very familiar to you;
- I can’t afford it
- No one can do it as fast/as well as me
- If I don’t do it, no one will
- I’ll stop when I start making some money
- I’ve just got to get through this and then I’ll stop
- I haven’t got time to go on holiday
You’re probably spending long hours on the job. Working 12-15 hours or more a day just to keep the business on track. You probably don’t have a business plan, or if you do, it’s 20 years out of date. If this sounds like you, then you need to make a decision to get out from under and start working on taking your business to the next level. You can do this by implementing a few strategies. These include;
Changing the way you think about your business
Stop looking at your business day to day and start a business plan. Set goals for the next 12 months, 2 years, 5 years and beyond. It can be quite a confronting challenge when you’re asked to write down what you want from life. Most people want more money, but don’t put any thought into how they are going to develop that extra income. Starting a vision board, setting goals and planning for the future will start to shape those dreams for you
Some people are too scared to put down what they really want in case they don’t get there, but unless you are really invested it’s not going to happen. Let’s face it, if you really want to start exercising and lose those extra kilos, you can with a good plan, but if you are not committed you are always going to find an excuse. It’s the same in your business.
Allow yourself to dream
Do you think that Richard Branson would be where he is now if he didn’t allow himself to dream of the impossible? To those around him, his dreams may have seen implausible and impossible, but he has proved the naysayers wrong. He’s turned his failures into life lessons and is still dreaming up some pretty amazing adventures. You may not have the money now to put some of those ideas into place, but with planning, you may in a few years time.
Surround yourself with people that are better than you
When I first got told this, the thought of it was frightening. Imagine working with people smarter than me? I believed that I was just going to sound like an idiot in front of them and they would have no respect for me. What I didn’t realise was by employing smart people, I wouldn’t have to be a Jack of all trades, I could master what I was good at and then leave the rest to my staff. The people I employ are terrific at what they do, know more than I do. I have learned to respect that about them and leave them to it. As a manager, I make sure that I am up to date with what my team is doing on a regular basis, but I don’t have to micro-manage them.
Learn to listen, accept that you may not always be right
Don’t be a dictator in your business. If you employ people smarter than you, then you should be encouraging them to bring new ideas to the table. Actively encourage your staff or managers to develop ways to grow the business, help them to put together proposals and costings for you to consider. Ask your key staff how they would improve your products and services, listen to their ideas and ask questions. If you rule with an iron fist and are not prepared to accept advice that is offered or dismiss ideas without consideration, your staff will quickly become disenchanted with the environment and eventually leave.
Invest in training for your staff
Making the investment, in time or money, in training your staff will lead to great benefits for you and your company. Allowing staff responsibility for jobs, helping them to solve issues themselves and guiding them through best practice concepts will give them a greater understanding of your business and help them become invested in not only the business but their future. If you are paying them as a chef, but only allowing them to wash up while you prepare the feast is a waste of your money, your time and theirs.
Implement processes and clear procedures for all aspects of your business
Many businesses run the way they do because that’s the way they have always run. Most work practices and systems have been passed down from employee to employee and like Chinese whispers, may have become confused or even some of the necessary steps excluded along the way. Businesses spend wasted hours teaching regular tasks over and over again to new employees when documenting the processes could reduce the training time.
For example; every time you get a new receptionist, you have to teach them the preferred way to answer the phone, how to pass on messages effectively and how to handle certain enquiries. If the process was documented or even videoed it could easily become part of that staff members onboarding process rather than having another staff member teach them.
Learning leadership skills and an investment in staff training is a guaranteed holiday for you.
Leadership management is a skill that is learned and at Rebel Connect we work with a partner company that specialises in growing and developing great business leaders. Shelley Holmes at Makeadentleadership.com.au works with our management and staff on a regular basis to help develop us as leaders. Three years ago, we were bogged down in the daily grind of running a media company, now we’re developing not just one company, but three increased our revenue by 40% and on our way to doubling our revenue in just two years.
Isn’t it time you started working on your business? Start planning your next holiday now.