Your business is supposed to serve your life, not your life serving your business.
It’s easy to forget, but that is probably what you felt your business would be when you first got into business. And I know how easy it is to drift into a never-ending compromise in your personal life to serve your business.
That’s not to say I agree with the speakers who confess that they put hours upon hours into their business to become a success, but they sacrificed their personal lives in the process. You shouldn’t have to do the same.
Well, I feel you shouldn’t sacrifice your personal life forever but that you do have to do the work and invest the time to gain control of your business or it will always control you.
So, I do feel you have to spend your time, your effort and even some of your savings if you’re going to make your company a success.
What I also believe is you need to learn how to work smarter, not harder.
There’s a big difference.
You need to learn how to leverage yourself through others at your company, and that requires you learn the process of delegation or what I call Steps of Delegation. You only have so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, so many weeks in a month and months in a year. You’re going to run out of time working the way you do. And time can be an even more precious commodity to a growing and successful business than money.
Also, your life in business gets hijacked by your staff with, “Got a minute?” happening over and over again day after day. You can’t successfully grow your business and get your life back without finally empowering your staff the right way vs. trying to run your business one crisis to another for what should be routine things.
Here are just six examples:
- Each day your Techs drive an hour from your shop and their trucks aren’t setup correctly, so they don’t have the materials they need to do 80% of the work they encounter each day
- You do multiple trades and the Techs aren’t cross trained, so when they’re an hour away from your shop you have to bring them back and send someone else to that area to run that call
- Your warehouse is out of control because anyone can grab anything they want with it being wide open. There’s no such thing as minimums and maximums let alone a sane way to replenish truck stock
- The CSRs bungle the call by not building momentum and capturing all the customer information correctly
- The DSRs don’t prioritize the calls the right way so it’s a free for all on how customers get served
- The Techs don’t have all the information they need including detailed history, and they have no process of how to open a call and run it properly to minimize callbacks.
How do you get your business to serve your life and learn to work smarter not harder?
You must systematize every aspect of your business so it functions without you riding to the rescue day-after-day, and it allows you rather to focus on growing your business and making your personal life a priority.
- Organizational Chart that becomes your Depth Chart which are the boxes it takes to run your company. Yes, if you’re a small company, your name will be in many, if not all, of those boxes. News flash! Your name has been in the boxes and you just didn’t know it
- Operating Manuals that document the policies and procedures it takes to run your business based on the Org Chart. This is how you define what goes on 80% of the time in those boxes so you can bring people onboard in a sane way and have them become effective the first day they arrive by going through these manuals on Day One.
- Steps of Delegation is a form that I teach clients to use to learn to delegate projects and tasks vs. dumping them on their employees. Dumping means not giving in writing what you want:
- What you want done
- Why you want it done
- What they have available to accomplish the task or project
- What the timeframe is for completion
- What is the multiple meeting schedule to keep things on track
- What happens if they accomplish it and what happens if they don’t
- Hiring willing people (and providing them with the skills they need) so they can build a career with you takes effort but it’s working smarter not harder in the long run because you’re building the team the right way. Otherwise, you’re always trying to manage people who came with skills but not necessarily willingness and good behaviors.
- Steps of Correction is typically a four-step process to help your staff stay on your “Staffing Train” by helping them comply to the systems you’ve put in place by:
- Having a discussion and documenting what you have talked about
- Doing a formal write-up using a properly reviewed Corrective Action Form
- Suspending them to go home and think about if they want to stay part of the team
- Firing them so you don’t saddle your A and B team members with non-compliant C and D team members and you letting the whole team know that compliance is non-negotiable
A redesigned business is working smarter, not harder, for the long haul. The sooner you get down to doing this, the sooner you can get your business to serve your life and not have your life serve your business.
Al Levi teaches contractors how to run their businesses with less stress and more success through his book, seminars, webinars and his exclusive 1-to-1 consulting practice.
Also check out Al’s latest business adventure as part of Zoom Franchise Company at www.zoomdrain.com/franchise-opportunity. It’s a living example of the power of manuals and more— in action.