Are You Wearing Too Many Hats?
Business owners oversee operations and handle responsibilities such as business plans, arranging financing, hiring staff, reviewing sales, developing marketing strategies, overseeing daily activities, and identifying business opportunities. I’m exhausted just thinking about the levels we expect of ourselves.
As business owners we are at times expected to wear many different hats. We do what is required for our clients'. I was always taught to get your "hand's dirty", no matter what the task is, if it needs doing, get it done.
But is this always the best approach. Can we get unnecessarily consumed and lose sight of the bigger picture.
What are the different roles or tasks you are expected to perform? and
How do you manage to cope with this?
What effect does this ultimately have on you running your business?
There is always the danger of you working IN the business, and not ON it. You will begin to feel like an employee of a business that you have invested so much into to build up. You can get stuck doing the more routine jobs that you really shouldn’t be doing anymore, when you know your time could be better spent in other strategic areas.
We can quickly become accustomed to juggling several hats to keep the company on track. Although we multi-task because of wanting to achieve more, wearing multiple hats can result in a significant decline in productivity. Multitasking makes people less productive, less creative, and more likely to get thrown off task by distractions.
Simple examples of business owners working IN their business not ON their business:
A beauty salon owner. Now this beauty salon owner enjoys chatting with the customers and painting nails. It’s a service industry, and this part is crucial to her success.
But she doesn’t understand why the business is not growing. She is already working 12-hour days, and suddenly the reasons she became self-employed in the first place is lost on her. Her time needs to be prioritised, allowing herself to spend more time promoting her business and driving up customer numbers, employing and training a skilled team, keeping on top of the accounts.
A builder. Their phone could be ringing off the hook with new business and potential customers wanting quotes, but like many, if that builder is spending all of his time either micro managing the team, or knocking down those walls and laying floors himself, because that’s the part he enjoys, he won't be able to work ON his business and drive up his revenues and profits.
What can we do?
It is so easy to fall into the employee mindset when you are a business owner, especially when you see it as a money saving exercise, and think you need to do everything to avoid hiring staff.
This of course does save you money, but you will never have the time to drive your business forward. You will struggle to bring in new business, and you will also run the risk of burning yourself out.
Review your to do list, and prioritise.
If you find yourself stressed and rushed off your feet, it’s very likely that you’re taking on more than you can cope with. Having your own business often means that you keep numerous plates spinning at once and it can be hard to be reflective, and step back.
With a view to cutting it back, cast an eye back over your to-do list. Review each activity and ask yourself whether it takes you that one step closer to reaching your business goals and objectives for that year.
Maybe just learn how to say no.
The temptation is always there to take on more work. However, if you work alone or in a small team, it’s imperative that you watch out for yourself. Spreading yourself too thin is only good for one thing: a business burnout.
Learning how to say no doesn’t mean that you’re failing. Saying no is the way to stay on track so you prioritise activities that will bring the most benefit.
Promote from within.
Consider assisting loyal employees to step into leadership roles, and promote within. At Raffingers we have a mentoring program, which allows us to speak regularly with our Team to discuss their aspirations and establish their individual strengths and aptitude for specific senior positions.
You can’t possibly be the most qualified person for every position in the company. Realising that someone else is potentially more capable than you are to manage a team or run a department is an important part of moving your company forward.
Automate social media work.
With pressure to be online on every social media platform to promote your business, there are now many tools available that can assist you with scheduling your social media, so that you don’t have to feel like this is taking you away from other areas that need your attention.
If you would like to find out more information on our advisory services and how we can help, please click here.