November 6, 2018
A recent article at Entrepreneur.com asked readers to imagine Bill Gates scrubbing toilets at Microsoft headquarters or Elon Musk on the assembly line piecing together Tesla after Tesla. Sound ridiculous? It is. As a small business owner there are a number of high-level sales and marketing tasks that you, and only you, can get done. These tasks are the ones that not only help your business grow, but also help it thrive.
To move your company forward, you need to make big picture goals your priority, and let go of some of the day-to-day tasks. Planning a launch, pursuing a new client, expanding a market, or brainstorming a new idea can’t happen if you’re buried with tasks you can hand off. The big things need to make it to the top of the list first.
To grow your business to the next level, you may need to disconnect from some of the details. Once you have the right people in place, you don’t need to walk step by step through every process and oversee every “I” being dotted or “T” being crossed. Delegate when you’re able to, outsource what you can, and focus your energies on the big picture.
It’s also a good idea to hire smart. Build a team – in house and with trusted service providers – that will be a good fit for the long haul, not just for the task at hand. Train team members to perform each task to your standards, and then trust them to do the job you hired them to do.
You may also want to clear the distractions. Do you need to be in every meeting? Look at ways you can get updates at meeting or even project end. Do you need to meet with department heads as things happen? Or can you put a system in place that streamlines communication and reporting, only pulling you in when your direct guidance is needed. There are a lot of items on your calendar that don’t need your direct attention. Find them and clear the time.
It’s also a really good idea to make “do not disturb” time slots mandatory. While communication is crucial, you need to have blocks of uninterrupted time to tackle the items that do need your attention and get your most meaningful work done. This is where brainstorming, planning, and working on goals comes into play. Making these time slots a priority will serve you and your company well.
Ultimately, the more time you have to focus, the faster you can grow. If you don’t have the manpower to make some of these changes now, start thinking about outsourcing. As your business needs change and grow, outsourcing complex, time-intensive tasks can not only save you time and money, it will also allow you to let go of some of the details and focus on what you do best, building your business.
As a business owner, your focus needs to be on running and growing your core business – particularly as a small to midsize business. That means you can’t be distracted by the complexities of payroll. And you definitely can’t afford to be sidelined by penalties and fines.
Before you get too caught up in the expansive possibilities of 2019, it might be time to take a look at your HR policies. Effective policies shift and evolve and are intended to grow and adapt with a company. While the core elements of a policy may stay the same, the details should change with the organization.
Hiring the right people is easier said than done, in part because impressions from interviews and résumés don’t necessarily tell the whole story. The right employee can enhance your workplace culture, help you accomplish goals, improve employee morale and more. The wrong employee can have also a profound impact, however, their impact tends to be costly and time consuming.