You’re passionate about your business, right?
As a founder of an independent business, who knew there were so many balls to juggle when you started out?
As business owners ourselves, we understand that running a company involves wearing many hats, some of which you love, and some of which…well, less so. Back in the corporate world, you knew how this worked – you focused on the critical elements of your role, particularly those you enjoyed and were good at, and then recruited a team around you who were better than you at the things you found tougher. If your workload became overly challenging, you had a boss to refer to for support.
So how can you delegate, or access support when it’s you that runs the business, and you have a small and already hardworking team?
The answer is really not so different to what you did back in your corporate days….
- Focus on what lights your fire – this is why you started up the business in the first place after all!
- Work out where you add the most value to the business – spend as much time as possible (at least 50% of your time) doing these activities
- Consider the activities you don’t see as value add ways of spending your time at work, things you don’t enjoy or don’t feel confident in. Identify if anyone in your team does enjoy or feel confident in those areas, or if you can afford to recruit someone in who can do it for you
- Consider outsourcing these responsibilities to a trusted partner
“Whooah there!” we hear you cry! “Doesn’t outsourcing mean handing your baby over to a faceless company who don’t know your business, and who’ll charge you more than if you did it yourself?”
Well, no, not if you choose the right partner.
There are essentially 2 types of partner to consider, the plug-in boss & the plug-and- play team.
The plug-in boss
Consider taking on a Business Coach, someone who can help you to stand back from your business and help you consider both your business and personal strategies. They can help you to untangle problems that you aren’t able to share with your team, saving you at least a few sleepless nights.
As another option, consider joining an organisation like The Alternative Board, where you join a facilitated group of local business owners to share, unpick and resolve your business challenges.
The plug-and-play team
Resources are available from companies whose business services are based on acting as part of your team, giving you access to their skills and experience but on a part time, or as and when you need it basis. A good partner will take time to get to know you, share insights they’ve gathered from the marketplace with you, and will only offer chargeable services in areas where you can manage the pace and where there is a genuine ROI for your business.
A good service provider will not just give you what you ask for without exploring why you are asking for it. They will work with you to make sure that the tactics you are employing align with your strategic aims and deliver the best possible results.
Can you get the best of both worlds from one set of advisors?
Yes you can!
Look out for consultancies where the principals have operated in their careers in your industry, an associated industry, or in an industry that you aspire to emulate. These partners will be able to help you understand what “good” looks like in the market.
Seek out principals who have held leadership positions, and who can empathise with the challenges of running a business. These partners will be able to provide sounding board or coaching support as part of their offering. Take a look at About Us.
Rightsize your partnership – advisors usually specialise in a specific range of business sizes. Find a partner who understands the resource benefits and constraints of a small business, and who will make sure that every penny you spend with them is driving benefit to you. It’s your money after all, and you want to be in control of how it gets spent.
Avoid recruiting a spectrum of point solution providers. Look for advisors who can give you a more holistic view of their market as they will get the best out of integrating your activities. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts!
No business leader ever got great all by themselves – help is out there!