Starting my own business from nothing was a challenge. Making it work has been a challenge too. Now that we are firmly planted in our third year, new challenges have sprouted up and we are attempting to address them head on as we continue to implement our 2017 business plan. All without getting overwhelmed and missing something.
Keeping up with the day-to-day while remaining focused on the bigger picture is a matter of developing your own set of small acheivable goals and returning to them after the emergency” this” or the surprise “that” comes up.
It also requires the small business owner to reevalutate everything they do all and and determine if the day-to-day tasks are:
- Something only I, the small business owner, can do, or
- Something I, the small business owner, does but don’t need to.
In the past three months, I have worked with my team to evaluate if I am being most efficient with my time. Clearly if I am writing my Fitzer Friday post at 5:52 pm on a Friday, I am not. My goal this year is to write, present, and train more but there is no way I can do that if I am the person installing a new website theme and testing every page and post by hand like I did this week, or I am running out to buy stamps, while figuring out why someone didn’t get their certificate of completion. Don’t for a second think that I believe these tasks are beneath me. These are the tasks that I have done for the last three years as I have pushed to grow the little business that will, but they weren’t the only things I thought I was going to do when I started ABAC. In fact, I had no idea what a website theme was when I started ABAC.
Small business owner manuals should start with the following opener “You will not do what you set out to do by opening this business as much as you want to, and you will do things you never thought you would ever do.” In my case, I have learned website design and maintenance, graphic design, and how to moderate webinars while problem solving why someone doesn’t have audio and someone else can’t log-in. I am an entrepreneur, techie, sales person, customer service representative, marketing professional, moderator, and manager. It turns out I am also a behavior analyst.
I am blessed to have a wonderful team of people here at ABAC who have agreed to take on more so we can keep moving forward and I can add some more content to the site and offer my own ABACLive webinars. It took some time for me to accept that it was okay to delegate tasks, especially if they are ones that I have done so long that it takes me half the time to do it than someone new. This is my baby, and like a parent dropping their child off at day care so they can go back to work, I have had to let go of certain responsibilities so I can take on new ones.
Whether you are a new agency owner, or someone who has been managing their business for a few years and you feel a bit “underwater,” I suggest sitting down with the one-to-two people in the company that you would want to take with you if you moved the business to another state. I am talking about the ones you feel inspired by and who make you want to be a better business owner and boss. Sit down with them and tell them your goals and review the things that you do all day, every day. Perhaps there are some tasks that they or your current staff can do even though it might seem faster and easier for you to do it. Perhaps you decide as a team that it is time to hire someone or bring on an intern to help you with the stuff that is getting in the way of growing the business and your brand the way you want to. Whatever you decide, you will have a clearer idea of what you need to do and the things that you do that you don’t have to (because someone else can).
Just today, I acheived more than I would have normally on a Friday because my Special Projects Manager took a task off my plate. Why did she? Because I asked her to. Nicely. I said, this is what I have to do by Monday and this is what I need to do. Do you think you could help me out with some of the things I could do but don’t have to? Within minutes, we were both back to work and I was back on track.
Did I say I was blessed to have such an amazing team?
As always, I would love to hear what you think about this post.
Have a wonderful weekend!