Now that we’ve made it through tax season, I wanted to share some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head as a direct result of working with so many small business owners this spring.
It’s about control – and success.
It occurred to me, in the middle of another panicked phone call from a small business owner, that too many businesses rely on the owner – that “solopreneur” – to do everything. Sure, in some cases, they have to since they are the only one in the business, but imagine, just imagine, what would happen to a “company of one” if that owner set up just a few basic processes to help them?
As an example, how do you handle follow up with clients? There are loads of automated systems that can be deployed to “reach out” to your prospects and many that can also send you reminders of what needs to be done. Most of these are labeled “CRMs” but the idea is the same – a system, not a person, that helps you as an owner to stay on top of where your client is on their customer journey.
Another key process that many small business owners miss is developing a true sales funnel. All too often, the smallest companies are dependent on outside influencers and advertising to create prospects, when, in fact, that process can be created inside the company. The result? A staggered series of prospects and customers who already appreciate the value you have to offer and can be actively marketed to. Remember, when you systemize your client acquisition system, you, as the owner, can teach it to someone else and free up your own valuable time, which leads us to my next point …
Value your time! If your title is CEO, then why are you writing emails? Why are you marketing? CEO’s don’t do that, employees do! The truth is, most small business “CEOs” have only built themselves a job and a title. Now live up to it! Put a value to your time – say, $25/hour and everything in your company that doesn’t pay that, delegate. Virtual assistants can be had for minimum wage and, if you’ll take the time to document the steps you want taken, they can easily handle nearly any task – research, postings, collating emails, even paying invoices.
Take this to the next level and look at how you live at home, too – are you missing your daughter’s recital because you had to cut the lawn? Stop. Farm that job out! If a landscaper costs you $150 each month, then simply approach the problem as, “I need X number of extra sales this month for the landscaper. I’ll bet, in the time you save each month, that you can create 10X the income that the landscaper “cost” you.
Until you take the time to create systems in your small business, you are only going to be stuck “doing it, doing it, doing it” and never have the chance to actually grow your own company into something truly spectacular. Make this the year!