As a San Diego small business coach, I see many clients approaching their breaking point. While they’ve found a niche that needs serviced and are even earning steady income, they work 60+ hours per week. Vacations are a thing of the past. Relationships suffer.
At the heart of these issues lies the fact that most business owners are still working IN their biz and haven’t transitioned to working ON their biz. As a San Diego small business coach, I intend to get people, process and product synergized for small business so that it can run independently to some extent. At least so the owners can have a 4-day weekend without needing anti-anxiety meds.
A San Diego Small Business Coach’s Biggest Secret: Hire & Plan
What do I mean working IN their biz as opposed to working ON it?
Owners still dealing with the day-in and day-out of actively completing work and the minutiae that surrounds it simply tread water. Billing, returning emails and picking up ink for the office printer, dealing directly with clients, etc., all end up taking hours. 6:00pm comes around again and you haven’t accomplished your goals for the day. Handling immediate small matters one after the other reminds me of the same habit teens are guilty of today: checking and responding to social media messages. Sure, we knock down one task after the next, but major projects get pushed to the following day, only to be pushed again.
We get stuck in the grind, like a broken washing machine cycle that never seems to end; soak, wash, rinse, spin, repeat. With no end in sight, financial achievement is capped by the capacity of the owner, with only small peaks in productivity giving rise to fleeting increases in earnings which can never be consistent or even seen again. The success bar is set high and the small business owner is hindered in meeting it by a lack of productivity, not doing the right things and at the right time and to some extent by a stubbornness to not get help or delegate.
Working ON your business not only has a whole different look and feel, it’s the only way to scale to the point of stability and freedom.
Ready to relax? 90% of successful businesses have used a small business coach.
Working ON your business (rather than IN it) means making it structured, streamlined and set up to grow. And that means hiring, something small business owners can be loathe to do. Why? They get used to a level of income that they have from the initial growth of their biz. An owner may be thrilled to earn $60,000 working independently and adjust his or her standard of living to that. Small business owners needing better work/life balance (and more income), however, CAN achieve it when they hire!
Another shot of investment (e.g. bringing on an administrative assistant) can yield 10-20 times more growth because the focus is kept on prioritizing the tasks to the appropriate person. It’s why doctors have nurses, why teachers have assistants, and, yes, why executives have secretaries. For instance, does it make sense for an owner who has the potential to earn $100/HR, to run to the store to get ink for the office printer rather than do billable work for a client for an hour? Chances are an admin person at $20/HR would be better spent on such time in the former task.
Many owners put off hiring help even when their numbers say they can, for several reasons. First, they can’t get to the planning stage of their business because they’re so busy with the minutiae or chaff. Secondly, they assume help will not perform the same level of work. These habits of mind will keep them running the treadmill at the same level of income indefinitely.
How to Both Stay Afloat AND Hire
In essence, hiring is both an investment and a sacrifice.
Owners have to make a mindset change to recognize they can’t do everything and delegation has to happen. It’s an investment in the future, to know that now their efforts can be spent ON the “business” of developing and growing their biz, rather than just being a servant to the grind.
Even if you don’t think you have the cash flow, look at what it would take and what could you sacrifice temporarily to hire the right help for you.
A lot of small biz owners have reached a level of lifestyle that their company supports and that they are now used to, but with a little adjustment to work process or even personal living they typically find the money to hire someone a few hours a week. This sacrifice should pay off if they focus their efforts with the extra time to do the right thing.
For example, a recent client hired a budget coach to help live more frugally and make the investment in a personal assistant. This paid off fairly quickly as they were able to take on a new client with the extra time they gained and easily pay for the help. Any San Diego small business coach will encourage you to offload the low-skill minutae to low-paid help.
There’s no magic sauce here. I’ve seen owners wait for years for cash flow to improve before hiring help, however, and they never get off this treadmill. A business loan or angel investor can be helpful but ONLY if you have a vision, strategy and goals towards growth (essentially a biz plan to expand your business so you can pay it back). Every situation is different but it always boils down to sacrifice and invest. Hire a coach and an admin person, to keep you on track and to get the chaff off your plate and then focus ON YOUR BIZ and escape from BEING IN IT.
Each week, I schedule three (3), FREE 50-minute in person or phone consultations. Do you want to be one of them? Contact me here and we’ll set it up! Need to know a little more about my team? Check out my handsome mug here!