Running a business can be addictive; it is capable of occupying every corner of your mind and seeping into every aspect of your life. How often are your thoughts on business when your child is asking for attention? How many invitations do you turn down, and on a scale of 1 through 10 how overwhelmed are you on a typical day? See what I mean? Addictive!
You tell yourself you can stop at any time: when I get this big order out, when this holiday is over, when things slow down. Isn’t there always just another reason to be busy?
Time is one of our most valuable assets, yet most entrepreneurs say they don’t have enough of it. When clients tell me they “don’t have the time” to create systems, hire and train help, or even take good care of themselves, I pose this simple, yet loaded question: Is that really, really true? “Of course,” they demand. Yet by the end of the session we have found a way to make time; there is always time for the important things if you run your business and life effectively. To me, I don’t have time is the biggest lie we can tell ourselves. And, it’s a lie that can put you out of business.
I know, I know, you’re probably struggling with at least one of these thoughts right now.
Here are the first steps of this “letting go” process. Again, I’m not saying it will be easy. What I am saying is that to experience the freedom that is so critical to your happiness, this is what you must do. You will never look back!
1. Determine what tasks are non-entrepreneurial and make a list. By non-entrepreneurial I mean things that an employee or contractor can do: bookkeeping, assembly and shipping, customer service, inventory tracking, website maintenance, cold-calling, and so on.
2. Keep track of how much time you spend on each of these tasks on a weekly basis. Which ones are taking up most of your time and consuming much of your energy? What job or jobs could you hire someone else to handle?
3. Let’s say that you spend 20 hours a week with your hands on the product: assembly, inventory tracking, ordering, packing, and shipping. Assign a wage to that job. Ten dollars an hour perhaps? That means that one months’ wages would equal eight hundred dollars.
4. Now put into writing the things that you could do to grow your business if you “bought back” eighty hours of your time every month. Really? That much? Surprise! If you had a whopping eighty hours a month to do nothing but market and grow your business imagine how quickly you could increase your bottom line!
5. Consider that carefully. How long, given 80 hours a month in which to do it, would take to increase your revenues? One month? Two? Three? Now multiply that by the monthly wage you’ve determined: $800 for one month, $1600 for two, or $2400 for three months. Your top priority now becomes to put away exactly that much money. Get creative you can do it!
Once you have the salary put away to cover, say 2 months’ wages, for your new employee find the perfect person for the job and just do it!
IMPORTANT: The most critical part of making this formula successful is to create actionable and measurable steps to achieve the goal of increasing your revenues enough to support your new team member. Commit to remaining on task, but be realistic. You will have interruptions and your new employee will have questions.
TIP: Have the employee document each step as you train them, before long you will have a written training manual!
This is just one of the many, many things you can do to make big profits and live a happier life. Most of us need support; no successful entrepreneur does it alone.