As small business owners, we often find ourselves trying to become a jack of all trades. We are the skilled labour, the unskilled labour, the administrator, the salesperson, the operations manager, the financial controller and the CEO all rolled into one. Chances are, we only set out to fulfil one, or maybe two of these roles, but the nature of the beast that is self-employment inevitably leads us down the path of doing it all, but not necessarily doing it all well.
Rather than stress and agonise over the parts of our business that always seem to be neglected, why not play to our strengths and concentrate on what we are good at? We all do our best work when we do things that come naturally; things that we genuinely enjoy doing. That’s what happens when we focus on our areas of strength. We automatically improve our performance because we naturally put forth our best effort.
Successful small business owners often recognise this early on and they work on bringing other ‘experts’ into their business, these experts can be employee’s, contractors or advisors who all have their own unique strengths that compliment the strengths of the business owner. As they do this, they develop structures, processes and reporting procedures within their business that allow them to keep their finger on the pulse and stay across all aspects, without having to personally undertake every task.
One of the biggest challenges I have seen for small businesses when growing and transitioning into small to medium enterprises, is the mammoth changes that need to take place within the business to enable the business owner time to work on the business, instead of just in it. These changes mainly involve putting policy, procedures and processes in place that allow the hand over certain responsibilities to others, whilst having those afore mentioned effective checks and balances. Unfortunately, with many emerging SME’s, this process is often undertaken after problems arise and lessons are learnt the hard way.
Tackling the challenge of letting go of parts of your business, to others who excel in that aspect can be tough, but it’s is a heck of a lot easier if you put in place the structure and process early on in your business life to enable this to happen. Being reactive to unsurmountable workloads and handing over certain aspects of your business to employees or contractors, without effective reporting structures in place, can mean a lot more work down the track to clean up the mess that can be left behind.