Thursday April 8, 2021
Is it your clients? Is it your staff?
As a business owner, knowing how to delegate tasks within your business is essential, but it’s also just the first step. Delegating work only adds value if the person you delegate to knows how to perform the task you put before them.
The Problem of Compromising
Before today I've discussed the turmoil of managing a difficult client and how to be a better manager for your employees. When looking to these things, I've pointed to the processes you should learn and practice as a business owner. I'm big on process, I'm a process guy.
It's incredibly hard to even begin scaling a business without knowing some of your Standard Operating Proceedures. To manage staff your company needs best practices and they need to be in writing. But why?
The Value of your Time
For business owners, work-life balance is hard.
For small business it can be harder, not less. You have fewer resources to manage your tasks and a finite amount of daily energy to manage it. Time is money, and your business is your output. If you are going to hire staff to make your business more efficient then you must be clear on your expectations and provide specific instructions that your staff will be able to follow.If you choose to communicate your instructions verbally, in the ideal scenario your employee will follow those instructions and perform the task appropriately. But will they tomorrow? The day after? Will they remember every detail? Will they need to ask you questions?
Questions are not your enemy, but they are problems. Every time you answer a question you are solving a problem. If the problem has been solved and nobody remembers you're probably going to have to solve that problem again tomorrow.
When you find the solution to a problem, always write it down. These solutions are your processes. Remember your processes.
When was the last time you were at your place of work and the management team walked out and announced a sweeping change in company policy? If your reply is that it happens pretty often, I would wager your workplace is pretty chaotic. Policy changes mean communicating new expectations to your staff, possibly even retraining. It can mean issuing public statements. It can mean losing clients. It does happen, but it shouldn't happen often.
As a lone entity, you do have some flexibility. You can pivot, you can adapt. Businesses are simply slower than that. They're built solid, and you should want your business to be solid.
By having solid policies in your business you can use your policies to teach your employees into self-sufficience. Which brings us back to:
Who is in Control?
The answer, not rhetorically, is you. But the answer is also your staff. The answer will be your clients. The answer will be anything that becomes the master of your time and attention. Your job as a business owner is to teach control. By taking control of your time and teaching others to do the same you will create an infrastructure of problem-solvers, led by practices that are free and available at any time.
Trust me, it's not a method. It's the method.