Compiling a business plan, obtaining enough capital and then starting your own business is a dream come true for an entrepreneur. It gave you a good feeling, right?
But what came after that? How did you experience the months and activities that follow? Is it everything you imagined it would be?
The unfortunate truth is that many business owners end up hating what they do each day. At the very least you may be saddled with tasks that are far removed from what you really love about business. Perhaps you’re stuck answering the phones instead of connecting with clients, identifying gaps in the market or designing new innovations for your target market.
Is there a way to maintain balance? Can you do more of what you love? To help you reassess your current situation, we highlight seven common issues many business owners face. Which of these are part of your reality and what can you do about it?
Daily Schedules and Communication—You’re Your Own Personal Assistant
A skilled personal assistant can discern which meetings are vital for you to attend and which ones can be postponed or delegated to another team member. That helps you manage your time more effectively.
Unfortunately, managing your own diary is a common task for many small business owners, especially at the outset. You may simply not have the money to pay a secretary, so you’re scheduling meetings yourself.
Unless your profits soar, you may not be able to avoid this task, but you can make it much easier on yourself. Draw up a list of activities you shouldn’t commit to. This will at least ensure you feel like you’re making the best of your time. For example, if you have someone managing the sales team, divert their meeting requests to that manager, rather than doing it yourself.
Awesome Team, but SMALL Team
While your business grows it’s inevitable that you and your employees will all fulfil various tasks, because you can’t afford to employ an expert for each role. This can get boring and even stressful, since your attention will often be divided. And yes, occasionally you have to wash dirty dishes yourself or even take out the trash. You won’t make money if you’re not prepared to work hard.
But analyze your current list of duties with the following in mind:
- Are there tasks that you’re really bad at? If you’re taking three times longer than others on the team to complete something, you’re not really helping, but rather hindering. Swap out tasks with each other so everyone’s time is optimized.
- Is there an online solution? For many business tasks these days you’ll find online tools, an app or a service. From managing accounts payable to field ticket automation, you may be surprised at what technology can help you with. And paying an hourly rate for those services may be more financially viable than you wasting time, getting frustrated and lowering productivity.
You Can’t Ask for Advice
Running your own business requires a lot of courage and self-confidence. But being confident doesn’t mean being too proud to ask for advice where you need it. There are individuals who have found solutions for the tasks that are robbing you of time, or preventing you from doing what you love:
- Network with industry leaders
- Employ a business coach
- Partner with companies focused on helping small businesses flourish
The modern business world is filled with resources and opportunities; it’s up to you whether you’ll benefit from it.
Every Company has Repetitive Tasks
When your business grows, it doesn’t mean certain tasks you hate will disappear. Rather, they tend to increase and not all of them can be automated:
- Managing payroll and bookkeeping
- Paying bills, collecting payments and managing invoices
- Appointment setting and scheduling
As the expert on the company’s business, some of this will be your responsibility. But as the company owner you shouldn’t always prioritize managing these, because it’s time consuming. This is when it’s smart to work with a monthly business manager. They will act on your behalf with the professionalism that’s required, so your company retains respect from everyone he or she engages with.
Metrics—Someone Has to Measure Your Success
Your business won’t grow if you don’t measure your performance. Since startups don’t have full fledged marketing and sales teams yet, you may spend time on:
- Analyzing your website traffic
- Revising sales figures
- Productivity of employees
Once again, spend time researching online resources that can at least automate certain tasks.
Businesses Require Writing
Have you ever written this much in your life?
From online content to keep your website up to date, to business proposals for investors, writing makes up a large part of a business owner’s responsibilities. You can’t always ask an employee to help, since you’re the one with the in-depth knowledge about your product, service and industry.
Save yourself a little time by hiring a copywriter who can handle editing and proofreading. If the writer knows your style after a few months, he or she may be able to take over writing, based on a few basic ideas you provide.
Unwise Decisions Lead to Unnecessary Problems
Let’s get honest for a moment: did you make rash decisions that end up keeping you from the work you enjoy?
- Employing family members in need of work, who end up affecting productivity or causing conflict that you need to sort out all the time.
- Buying a property before doing enough research and without really needing it. This can force you to spend time managing cashflow, just to pay off this unnecessary expense each month.
- Agreeing to a partnership with a company that doesn’t align with your vision, simply because it sounded like an innovative idea. Now you’re wasting time on projects that don’t bring you closer to growing your original business goals.
You’re lucky if you haven’t made these mistakes. To avoid making them—again—don’t be impulsive and consider the business coaches we mentioned earlier that can give insight about when it’s time to take certain steps.
In a few months’ you can have a much different experience each day. Start analyzing each part of your business, make changes and your business will give you that good feeling again.
Where do you start? Confused on how to begin? Let us help. Schedule your FREE phone consultation today!