By The Lazy Business Owner
As a business owner, it is tempting to wear many hats at one time and take care of all the departments by yourself with some (very limited) help from employees. Speak to any successful businessman and he is likely to tell you that this is a mistake which you should avoid. Of course, this does not mean that you can delegate everything within your business to others….it just means that you need to MANAGE more and DO less.
It is quite easy to fall into the trap of taking on more and more work for any of the following reasons:
- You can do it better than most people in the business
- Delegation takes a lot more time than actually doing it
- Cost saving in man-hours as you are doing most of the work yourself
- It is a matter of habit
Now, unfortunately, this may cause your and your business a whole lot of problems. Problems like:
- Too many items in your TO-DO list leaving you simple exhausted
- Too little time for pro-active business management activities. Who is going to do your business strategy when you are doing all the ‘dirty’ work?
- Employees do not learn nor take on added responsibilities
- Your business will stop growing as much as it should be growing
- Creates a poor impression on customers ( imagine a customer always getting to speak to the business owner for support, billing and account managing issues)
If you have already realized that you are doing too much in your business which in turn is creating the problems listed above, then it is time for some change. Here are some suggestions of what you can do to reduce your micro-management activities and focus on the BUSINESS.
1) Delegate smartly. I have seen many business owners delegating to their juniors…some of them do it well and some of them….well they end up delegating their own work to the employees as well. Smart delegation means explaining your employee what you need to get done, defining the goal well and giving helpful suggestions on how the task can be completed. If you give broad instructions (Let’s work towards increasing sales), you are unlikely to see any results.
2) Departmentalize clearly. As a growing business, you need to ensure that you have clear departments which can handle the growth as it happens. Making departments with clear demarcation of duties is likely to help you grow lot faster than your competition. Review each department’s progress, their problems and recruit good people to lead these efforts ( I know this is easier said than done, but there is really no other way out) .
3) Direct more. As a business owner, I feel the most important thing I do is direct my team. In measurable terms. Giving timely feedback and responses to employees, showing them the direction in which the business needs to go and tackling overall issues of managing the business.
4) Put in systems. Automation is the best thing since sliced bread. I am serious, I mean it. You can now take mundane tasks and automate them. You can even take complicated tasks and automate them intelligently! Not only does this reduce the time you need to do some pieces of work , it helps mitigate the risks you face when an employee leaves. Automating accounting, HR, Customer service and sales are just some of the things which help you grow well. The initial costs may be high, but automation tends to pay for itself with 12 to 24 months of implementation.
So the next time you catch yourself doing multiple tasks in the business, stop right there…and delegate it to the right person.