Ask a small business owner when was the last time he took a holiday, and you probably get the response, “my work is my life”, or “rarely”. Or, if you are one of the lucky minority who said yes – would the business be able to survive without you for 6 months?
If your answer to either of the above questions is negative: ‘Houston, we have a problem’.
You might think that it is only right that without you the business would be worse off because you are the genius that created and upholds this empire, but this is a very traditional and egoistical way of thinking.
Don’t get me wrong, your business could be financially successful, but when you try to sell your business, you probably will find that investors don’t see the same value you do in the business. It is not the case that the business is of little/no financial value, but because you ARE the business.
Furthermore, if you are the type that wants to control everything and run multiple if not all functions, you have doomed the business to staying small.
You might think to yourself, “I’m still small and I can quite easily stay on top of things, there is no need for a system. I have more urgent things that need my attention, like sales and product development”.
This is usually a fatal flaw that leads to consequences down the road.
As Allan Dib has so eloquently put it, “[Such business owners] often find themselves in a catch 22 situation. They have no time to work on the business because they are too busy working in the business. And they can’t get away from the business because they haven’t developed documented systems and processes.”
In fact, business in its raw form is made up of systems, both technological (i.e. manufacturing plants) and humans (i.e. line workers) that deliver solutions to customers’ needs.
Keeping this principle in mind and taking advantage of it will benefit you – the more systemised a business is, the easier it is to handle more business.
But, here’s the problem. Systems fail in your business then they are non-existent, inconsistent or broken. First, there must be a process – a consistent way of doing things, and an effective system. Only then will you be able to effectively scale the business/hire talents who will help you grow your business the way you want without having to overlook their shoulder at every moment.
When you finally stop eating time and effort reinventing the wheels, labour costs will significantly decrease, and the system will help boost efficiency of both the team and yourself.
Your time will be freed up to work on the business and solidify new strategies to grow/scale, which would impact the long-term business. However, in order to get there, it is the business systems that see your strategies being implemented down on the ground and make it a daily part of the company.