Spending Time on Low Impact Tasks:
This relates a little bit to the first top in part I, of getting mired in the details, but details are not the only place that business owners spend valuable time with little impact. Let me ask you a question, if you owned a retail store would your time be better spent stocking shelves or evaluating the marketing plan for the business? If you own a garage are you better served changing the oil on a car or training your staff to present the vehicle needs to customers and how to offer add on services?
These trade offs happen day after day in too many small business owners and I guarantee that if you thought hard about it you could think of a low impact task that you get involved in. This is not to say there isn’t value in getting your hands dirty once in a while but as a practice you should keep yourself out of low impact tasks and duties. The next time you prepare to do a task that you have done a hundred or a thousand times, think about it first. Can one of your employees accomplish this task as well or nearly as well as you can? If so, then let them try it. Soon enough with practice and guidance they might even be more effective at it than you.
Not Taking Vacation Days:
Working hard and working long hours is a staple of most startup businesses because often frankly you can’t afford to do anything differently. However, if you are a more established business and you cannot step away for a day or two or three, then there are some things you need to look at right away. Several of those were covered between the 1st and 2nd parts of this post that came before. If you have made an effort to correct those other 3 bad habits, then this 4th habit may not seem as daunting.
However, if you think about taking a day off and you imagine the place burning to the ground then you have a little bit of work to do. Most small businesses cannot run without the owner involved and that’s because they were created that way and never adjusted. What happens if you get sick, or have a family emergency? If this sounds overwhelming and you realize that your actual plan is to cross your fingers and hope or pray then try this.
Make a list of the daily tasks you do and categorize them as whether someone else can be trained to do them. Then write down your once weekly tasks and do the same and follow with any monthly tasks. Now, start working with those whose decision-making skills have previously impressed you and teach them how to fill in some of these tasks. Build on that, and before long you will see how many of those tasks you can really hand off.
The idea of recognizing bad habits is to adjust them and turn them into good and productive habits. So, please give these a shot and let us know how things are working out. Thank you.
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