Hey! You out there!
Yes, you could be screwing up your own business and not even know it!
Here are 5 ways you are doing it and how to stop it!
1. Daily drowning in administrative minutiae.
You know who you are! The one who can’t let go or delegate anything. It’s time for you to realize that investing in some side help can save you a lot more money than it costs to hire them.
If you are spending too much time doing hourly wage work, you are not spending enough time on growing your business with the skills only YOU have.
Use a Virtual Assistant – one of the fastest growing professions! You don’t need office space, equipment, benefits, nothing. Just a phone and email. They do everything for you from their home office. Or bring in someone 3-5 hours a week. Whatever, just get someone in to do it for you. Just think how much easier quarterly taxes would be…
And VA’s aren’t flunkies who can’t get a job elsewhere. They are typically former admin people who have decided that if they can work from home, why not work from home! Flexible hours, no commute, etc…
Use them for bookkeeping, travel arrangements, scheduling, documents, and more – anything you can think of that sucks up your precious time and helps you avoid needless burnout.
2. Lack of regular staff training and updating.
No, they don’t learn by osmosis! You have no idea how much information you are NOT disseminating to your staff if you don’t have regular weekly or at least monthly meetings.
Throughout each day, jot down anything new or old your staff needs to know in a separate small notebook that you can carry around or your mobile device of choice. Voila! At the end of the week, you know exactly what to cover in your meeting. No fears of what to cover or trying to put together an agenda. If you are light on material, make them do the talking – they will always have something that needs general discussion.
Limit the meeting to 30-60 minutes. Start on time – don’t punish the punctual and the tardy ones will never be late again! Never go overtime. Everyone’s time is valuable.
3. Lack of planning.
Take out a calendar and decide what your week is going to look like. No, don’t try to do a month – things change too often.
You already have an idea which days you generally accomplish what, so make each day responsible for some routine facet of your business. Like Monday – return calls, Tuesday – Follow up appointments, Wednesday, ordering, … you get the picture.
THEN, schedule everything else around those routine duties. This simple approach will streamline your day. Don’t play catch up with yesterday’s duties anymore.
4. Playing Superwo/man.
Nobody will like you. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. And if you want productivity from your staff, they should at least somewhat like being around you.
Seriously, if you are flying around in your cape 24/7, you will be driving everyone you work with crazy! Most likely you are in everyone’s way and slowing them down because you are trying to stay one step ahead of everyone else and getting in their way and second guessing them and double-checking what they have done and skipping lunch and running off late to meetings and hurrying back in to check in on what’s going on and remembering to Tweet and making the new schedule and and and and and and and and and………..ARRRRRGHHH! Enough!
5. Micro-managing, a.k.a. being a control freak.
This ties into number 1 & 4, but worthy of separate attention.
This is especially important if you aren’t good at complimenting and reinforcing your staff. Add your need to control everything to lack of staff recognition and you’ve got a formula for attrition. Staff loyalty comes from their feeling trusted by you. So, if you are lousy at recognizing when they are doing well, at least boost their self-esteem a little by delegating responsibilities. This sends a Hallmark “I trust you and like your work” to your staff better than most compliments. Entrusting them to be responsible is rewarding to them and harks back to what we discussed in problem 1. If you can’t let go, you will burnout. And other people are often more capable than you may think.
OK, now take a breath… go back to step 1 and get started… you don’t really want to screw up your business anymore, do you?