If you’d like to spend less time in the office and more time on vacation, this blog entry is for you.
Now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to share an interesting fact that I’ve observed over my years of working with small businesses: the average business owner spends a significant amount of time, each and every day, doing work that he or she shouldn’t be doing.
Most small business owners simply don’t utilize their team as effectively as they should be, and as a result are working harder than they need to be. Below are four steps towards changing that:
1) Track your time for one week. Make note of how you spend your time in the office. You don’t have to go into great detail, but you do need to be sure that you record each task you perform, and how much time you spend doing it. For instance, your entry may start with “Production meeting – 40 minutes. Read and respond to email – 30 minutes.” By the end of the week you should have an accurate picture of how your time is spent.
2) Identify tasks that could be performed by others on your team. Now, go through that data and identify tasks that others could be doing instead of you. For instance, while you probably need to be present in key meetings, perhaps you don’t have to be the one to call in orders to your suppliers each day.
3) Create clear standards for each task and train the appropriate team member. Now that you’ve identified tasks to delegate, take the time to create a simple “instruction manual” and assign the task to a team member. Take the time to answer any questions and make sure that he or she understands the details clearly.
4) Hold each team member responsible for performance. Pay close attention to the early stages of this process. Ensure that your team members are meeting the standards you set previously.
If this sounds like a simple process… it is. And yet, it’s something that few business owners ever do without prompting. So consider this a challenge: figure out where you are spending your time unnecessarily, delegate it to team members… and enjoy the free time that this process creates. Please contact me today if you’d like to discuss this further!