When’s the last time you unplugged from your email at night, took a family vacation, or had some “me” time now that you own a business?
If you’re like a lot of business owners, you were fine with the 80-hour work weeks required to get things off the ground. You were the head salesperson, marketing leader, service provider, accounting department, janitor, and all the other roles that had to be filled. Slowly you started to bring people on board with your financial success. You began to grow. Everyone was passionate and fired up about the opportunity. People plowed ahead, rolled their sleeves up, and got things done. Then came more growth… more people… more sales… more growth…
But now it’s been two, three, or more years and you’re still working 80-hour work weeks. You can’t remember the last time you took a day off. And when you do take a day off, are you interrupted by worry about what is (or isn’t) happening without you, emails, or phone calls from employees and customers? Be honest… and raise your hand if this sounds familiar.
I bet when you started your business you thought about all the excitement surrounding being a business owner. You wanted fulfillment in providing great products & services. You wanted to build a great team around you. You wanted to create something bigger than yourself. And then… there were the financial and time rewards. The money would be great for you & your team and you’d eventually be able to throttle back to a reduced work week to be with the family, enjoy other pursuits, and maybe even partially retire.
So what happened? Unfortunately, your business has outgrown its current operating structure. You’re still trying to operate it as a small start-up versus an adolescent or mature business.
How much of the work have you delegated to others? Are you hiring & developing the right leaders? Are you on-boarding the new people with a documented process and mentoring others with an apprenticeship plan ? Is your org chart clear – with defined & documented with the Three R’s – roles, responsibilities, and real people? Or do your people still think that their role is just the small job posting from the newspaper or job boards?
Is all hope lost? Not at all!
The first thing that I recommend you do is get a copy of The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. Read it… then read it again. You’ll understand that every business, like every person, has life phases and that you shouldn’t be afraid of putting some structure into the business. In fact, the structure will be necessary for it – and you – to grow.
The second step is to think about where you’re at personally in the different roles as the business owner as defined in the book; Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician. Your goal should be to shift from that of day-to-day Technician (producer) of the business and Manager (overseer) to that of Entrepreneur.
The third step is to begin assessing your team, processes, goals, measures, and your own professional development. Then start filling in the gaps where
- information isn’t being shared (or hasn’t been shared, to begin with),
- your team isn’t aligned on goals or work,
- unwanted variation exists, and
- you need help.
Sure sounds easy, right? Don’t kid yourself… life and business are hard. But they don’t have to remain hard if you surround yourself with the right people, continue to expand your knowledge, and implement tried-and-true methods for improvement.
Wishing you success in business…