Running a business is stressful! You worry about your company, employees, and customers. It can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
Have you ever wanted to take a vacation, or even a day off, but didn’t because your business can’t run smoothly without you? This is a common problem for business owners. Those who don’t take steps to correct it will get burnt out.
Where to start
The first step is to get all information about running your business out of your head as the business owner and into the hands of your team. Make a list of the essential tasks, document important processes, and share contact information for important vendors or third parties to equip your staff to solve problems if needed.
This knowledge share accomplishes two important things. First, employees operate with more information and ask fewer questions. Second, you won’t feel as chained to your business and like you can never take a break.
Delegation is key
If you are spending energy, time, and attention on an aspect of your business that could be handled by an employee, then you’re not optimizing your resources.
Delegation allows you to focus on your top priorities. Delegation also helps your team grow and develop, and shows that you have confidence in them.
“Focus on what you are good at; delegate all else.”-Steve Jobs
Build a team that you can trust
Start planning now to create a team that can run your business for you and help free up your time. Look at this as an investment; it will take time to hire and train the right people, however, this is integral to your freedom down the road.
You do not want to be a bottleneck by requiring all decisions to flow through you. Create measurable goals and financial metrics that you use to monitor your company’s performance. Then, hold your employees accountable.
It takes time to build trust. Provide opportunities to build relationships to allow the team to grow together. Make sure to highlight their successes.
Be truthful with one another and admit if you do not know something. You need a team that trusts you as much as you trust them. Trust in your employees first and allow them the opportunity to reciprocate.
Standard Operating Procedures
What are SOPs? In a nutshell, they’re step-by-step instructions on how to perform a task or activity. In-depth rules that can be followed by anyone and should leave little ambiguity around what needs to be done. They are efficient, to the point, and can be used to organize procedural workflow.
Document all procedures, and make sure your employees understand and follow them. Invest time in making detailed SOPs. This ensures operations are performed consistently to maintain the quality of your product or service, and can improve employee training.
SOPs can also help take you out of the equation. Employees will not bog you down by asking questions about every little detail. Have them refer to the SOP and then escalate any issues not resolved by it.
Plan on selling your company? Make sure it runs without you
If you plan on selling your company at any point in the future, it must be self-sufficient to attract buyers. That is, unless you want to be a future employee at your own company, tied to it forever, and be told what to do by the new owner (yikes!).
Think about your long term goals and figure out how to make your business need you less. For more tips on this subject, check out our blog Own your Business; Don’t Work for it.
It’s simply not healthy for you to hold onto everything in your business. Learning to delegate, building a team of employees you can trust, and creating standard operating procedures will free up a tremendous amount of your time. You’ll no longer feel trapped! You’ll be able to focus on more important things, whether it’s spending time with your family or working on the next big deal.
For more tips on unloading your stress and improving your effectiveness as a business owner, check out the handy guide we put together – 7 steps to eliminate business owner overwhelm.
You may also be interested in: