Ask any business owner how they spent their day, and they will (proudly) give you a laundry list that includes everything from negotiating a contract to changing the lightbulbs to buying stamps to plunging the toilet. Somehow, a longer (and down and dirtier) to-do list has become synonymous with business success.
As a business owner, you wear many hats. Not because you want to, but, because you have to. Usually, it’s because you can’t afford to hire anyone else to take out the trash out, do the payroll or pick up the coffee.
But, did you know, while you are doing all this work in your business, you really should be working on your business? It is the moment you realize this, and then do something about it, that your business begins to grow.
Hester Taylor Clark, founder of The Hester Group, a multi-million dollar project management company, likens managing a company to parenting, to knowing when your child or your business has grown enough to be given freedom.
“Just as you can over-parent,” she says, “ you can do the same thing to your company. I had to come to the place where I know that the staff I have is capable and then let them go, because they are ready and can handle it … if you hold on too tightly, it doesn’t grow”.
Here are some ways you can let your business get the oxygen it needs to reach its full potential:
- Trash talk. Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Successful People says you should, “never do anything for your business that you could pay someone else $8.00 per hour to do”. Write down a list of all the tasks you do in one day for your business. Which of them could you pay someone else a couple hundred dollars a week to do? Imagine! If you had all that extra time to grow your business, this extra expense could become trivial.
- Be the CEO. A truly successful business is the one that can run without you. (gasp!! Say it isn’t true!) When you are down in the thick of it, you can not see the forest for the trees (er, the kudzu). You can not see the problems before they happen or the opportunities as they arise. Take a step back and get a bird’s eye view of your business. Try to see your business through the lens of your customers, or better yet, a potential investor. Make a list of the improvements needed. Delegate the smaller to-do’s and then create a growth plan for yourself for the larger ones.
- Procedures, procedures! If you are worried your employees won’t water the plants just like you, create a procedural document or a manual to ensure that they do. If the smaller tasks truly bring you joy, put them on your schedule a couple of hours a week, or do them on the weekend, as part of your rest and relaxation activities.
- Always be growing! Make a list of all the things you wish you knew about running a business. Then, put professional classes, continuing education seminars, listening to a business book, working with a business coach or having lunch with someone who does know, into your weekly calendar. Your business is only as good as you are. Constant self-improvement is key.
- An extra pair of eyes. As CEO of your company, seek advisors that can, well, advise. Work with a business coach or marketing consultant to get fresh ideas to improve and grow your business. Successful leaders know that it truly takes a village…to grow.
Now, get growing!!
Kudzu Branding Co., full coverage creative agency and consulting firm located just outside Asheville, NC., is where businesses go when they are ready to grow. Kudzu Branding Co. can help your business grow through consultation and creative graphic or web design. Contact Creative Director and Branding Coach, Murphy Capps about growing your business today: firstname.lastname@example.org
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