Running a small business can be a real challenge. If you’re not careful, you can quickly become overwhelmed by so many responsibilities. There is a constant battle for time and money that robs business owners of their freedom, causing many to throw in the towel. When you learn how to run your business the way I am going to tell you about, life will be much better.
It all comes down to what you as the business owner spend your time on, and what you spend your time on is not so much determined by the needs of the business but by your own thinking and mindset.
Your Job is to Think
Running your own business is harder than you think. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be successful. You need to be able to think on your feet and be able to adapt to changing circumstances. If you’re not prepared for the challenges of running your own business, then you may not be successful.
The problem is that the vast majority of businesses are so entangled in the day-to-day operations of their business that they don’t have time to think. Rather, they don’t make thinking a priority.
I liken this to a lumberjack who never stops to sharpen his ax. The ax becomes duller with every swing, and the lumberjack keeps on swinging and sweating until he throws his back out.
Take time to sharpen your proverbial ax. Think, sit, simmer.
There are a few benefits to taking the time to think about something before doing it.
- First, you can often get a better idea of what is best for yourself and your situation.
- Second, you can avoid making decisions hastily or based on emotion, which can lead to better outcomes.
- Finally, taking the time to think through a problem or question can often lead to a more satisfying solution.
Your Job is to Discuss
As a business owner, you’re responsible for discussing issues with employees and other important stakeholders. You need to be able to effectively communicate with them, so you can resolve any issues and keep your business running smoothly.
Team or Department Discussions
A great way to hold discussions with the weekly team or department meetings. Far too many meetings are a huge waste of time because they never accomplish anything. The whole point of these weekly team meetings is to uncover what the most pressing issues are, prioritize them, and solve them one at a time. If you want to know more about how to hold better meetings, check out Traction by Gino Wickman.
One on One Meetings are a Great Place to Discuss Issues
One of the best ways to make your business run smoothly is to have regular one-on-one meetings with your employees. This way, you can discuss any issues that may be arising and make sure that everyone is on the same page. The key is open, two-way communication in an emotionally safe environment where real hindrances to progress can be discussed.
Morning Standup Meetings
The morning standup meeting is a key part of running a successful business. By having a regular meeting in the morning, which typically takes 10 minutes, everyone on the team is kept on the same page and knows what needs to be done. This also helps to prevent any potential conflicts from arising, which can lead to chaos. These meetings are great for uncovering the “oh yeah, I needed to get with you for 2 minutes for XYZ” when XYZ, which can be dealt with rather quickly after the meeting, is holding up an entire process or team.
Your Job is to Make Decisions
As a business owner, you are responsible for making decisions on a daily basis. This can be difficult, and that’s why it’s important to get input from all the interested parties via discussion. The problem with discussion is it rarely leads to a decision, and even more rarely leads to action.
Making a wrong decision is almost always better than making no decision at all. This is especially true in business. When you don’t decide, you allow other people and circumstances to dictate your fate. You may miss out on opportunities that could have been profitable or beneficial to your company. Conversely, when you make a decision, even if it’s the wrong one, you at least have a plan and are moving forward. You can learn from your mistakes and move on.
People and businesses who fail early and often, learn quicker, recover quicker, and generally see better results than those who are afraid of failing. Failure is part of success, so make decisions and get on with it. If you’re wrong, you can fix it.
Your Job is to Delegate
Some people believe that delegating is an art. They believe that it takes a lot of skill and experience to be able to delegate effectively. Others say that delegation is simply a way of managing work so that more people can be productive. It all comes down to how you approach delegation and how effective you are at getting the most out of your team.
Some reasons why you should delegate virtually everything are:
- You can focus on your goals and priorities.
- You can free up time to do other things that are important to you.
- You can get more done in less time.
- You provide opportunities for others to grow.
- Others can likely do the task better than you when given the chance.
Further, your team will likely thank you for removing yourself as a roadblock to progress. Too many business owners, myself included, try to handle everything, but they drop the ball or don’t deliver timely. This causes frustration to your employees when they cannot get work done for you because of you.
I will be sharing more later on how to effectively delegate, so be on the lookout!
What about Systemizing?
You may be thinking that I left a key element out..systemizing your business. Guess, what, you can delegate that too! Some employees can do the job, others can manage the job, and others can systemize. Some can do all three!
You can and should also delegate decision-making as much as possible provided you create the right decision-making framework, aka based on company core values and have an established foundation of trust with the person you are delegating to.
When you systemize the most important parts of your life and business, stress is reduced, and it becomes easier to enjoy fun and family.
Running a business is hard work. That’s especially true when you are entangled in the day-to-day. Your life will be much better when you make room to think about what you’re doing, discuss it with others, decide on a course of action, and then delegate it.
This process is key to earning more time, money, and freedom for your life.