One of the most difficult parts in owning and operating a small business is finding the necessary time to grow the business while trying to manage the day-to-day tasks. This is a balance that many business owners struggle with, especially when the company is relatively new.
With that said, it is important to focus on the bigger picture whenever possible, while alleviating the work involved with day-to-day operations. Although this is easier said than done, there are many opportunities available that owners can take advantage of to help grow the business while reducing the amount of work involved with daily tasks.
Don’t be Afraid to Pass On Tasks
Many business owners tend to work on the full aspect of day-to-day operations, sometimes to save money, other times because they simply do not feel comfortable passing these duties on to employees. While it is important for the daily operations to be taken care of, it is also important that the owner of the business is not wearing all the hats, but is focusing on the big picture of where the business wants to be.
Hire Employees Who Are Excited to Work
One way to feel more confident about passing on daily tasks is to hire an all-star team of employees. Again, this can be easier said than done, but having employees who understand the business and who have an interest in the growth of the company allow for the owner to feel confident in delegating important tasks. Alternatively, look at outsourcing portions of the business wherever possible. This allows for you to receive expert help, while not worrying about hiring employees, training, payroll, or benefits.
It is important to be selective in the hiring process, both when hiring an employee and when finding outsourced help. Do not settle on an applicant, but find one that fits the future needs and goals of the business. During the interview process, ask questions about where they see themselves in the future, and what they see in terms of the growth of the company. For employees, the addition of monthly and quarterly reviews gives you an opportunity to see where the employee is at with their short and long term goals, while giving you the ability to share the vision and goals of your business. It is important to get the employees involved with the growth of the business wherever possible.
Ask the Professionals
Even with a solid team of employees, many small business owners become overwhelmed with daily tasks, and speak openly to anyone who will listen (including staff, customers, and family). It is important to maintain the vision and goals of your business, and save the issues you are having for people who can help. There are many groups available within your community that bring industry professionals together to help grow each other’s business. Many times, they offer a space to share best practices, listen to others stories, and work together to develop valuable solutions to your problems. It is important to share your business issues with peers who are passionate about helping to grow businesses, and share a similar level of expertise (if not greater).
Keep an eye on your cash flow
A business’s cash-flow is one of the most important aspects in creating a financially stable business, and has an opportunity to be the difference between financial success and bankruptcy. There are many ways to help increase cash flow, a great place to start is to maintain weekly or monthly revenue and profit models that give owners a visual representation of their current financial situation, and allows for you to develop methods of reducing the business’s break even costs, while increasing the speed of accounts receivables. By taking advantage of these opportunities, owners are able to gain an understanding of the financial structure of their business, and make informed decisions with regards to the future of the business.
Manage Your Time
Still struggling to find time to grow the business? Track your time for three days in thirty minute intervals and write down what you are doing. From there, you can analyze your daily tasks, and see how you are spending your time. Does it benefit the business’s short term goals? How about long term? What should you spend more time doing? From here, you have the information necessary to create a plan of action to better manage your time, and to create a more efficient system of running your business.
It can be difficult for business owners to find time to focus on the growth of their company, while dealing with overwhelming day-to-day activities. With these five tips, owners are able to take a step back from the daily duties involved with running a business, and find time to develop a vision, as well as a plan of action for the future of the company.
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