Ok, one blog post doesn’t have you convinced that you can or should fire yourself and it isn’t clear how to do so, right? Therefore, part two will explain how to replace yourself without a significant drop in overall production. If done properly, any drop-in production will be more than made up for by your ability to oversee the big picture and take big steps forward.
Outsource or In-source
Outsourcing is a negative word in many situations, but your ability to delegate/insource, or outsource will determine your ability to replace yourself. After evaluating all the tasks that you do in a given week, and the ones that “only you” can accomplish, did any jump out at you as ones that were probably not high value? I don’t mean that they don’t need to get done, I just mean that they can be done by anyone with proper training and it doesn’t have to be you.
Your time and energy are best focused on how to improve the business in the long run and ensure that revenue, and profit goals are hit. There are a variety of companies that specialize in outsourcing where you can have a team working on your behalf in a variety of tasks. (IE: bookkeeping, payroll, interview scheduling, data entry, social media management, etc.) Do a quick google search and do some homework. Most of these services are a fraction of the cost of hiring someone.
However, if you already have trusted staff on hand that has the time capacity you can insource some of these tasks. People will often impress you if you give them the opportunity to do so. Remember, if they can do the work 80% as well then you should hand it over.
Train & Coach
I can’t stress this section enough, the willingness to train and coach is imperative to the ability to not just replace yourself, but to grow your business. A coaching and training environment will encourage employees to constantly improve in ways that a punitive environment never will. Next week, we will discuss the difference between training/coaching and telling/showing that most business are built around. However, a great rule of thumb is to think of a coach or mentor that made an impact on you. How did they do things differently?
Set Measurable Objectives
If you do not set goals for your company, teams, and yourself that are measurable how can you know if you are doing better, or worse? Objectives should have a quality and quantity measure to them if you ever hope to replace yourself.
Weak Objective/Goal: Increase sales next quarter.
Strong Objective/Goal: Increase sales next quarter by 15% while maintaining gross margins of 65%.
Sit down and set your objectives and work with your team to determine what you need to accomplish to get you to your goal.
Take a Vacation!
If done properly you have accomplished several important things. You took a hard look at what you are doing and what you should actually be doing instead. You empowered and trusted your team. You showed your team that you want to see them improve personally and professionally. In turn they have showed you that they care about your business. Now, rather than replace yourself take a couple of days off and enjoy!
If you didn’t follow along in the beginning, feel free to go back to last week’s post and revisit it. No matter what we hope that you take something significant out of this exercise.