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You will do it yourself?

small business owners

Today's blog topic is brought to you by the phrase “don’t worry, I’ll just do it myself”. It’s a sentence I’ve heard a little too often lately from small business owners, as well as those responsible for small teams within businesses and organisations. To be quite honest it is also something I have heard myself saying way too often and I am still slowly learning to let go of “control” to empower team members to get the job done, thus freeing up my time to manage and grow both the team as a whole and members within the team. Now let’s be brutally honest, and dive straight into the negatives on why this mindset can be so destructive before we explore the possible solutions.

1. You will go mad and you will still not get everything done. As a solo small business owner you may think that there is no other option and you must do everything for yourself. This is not true! Many processes can be automated and even outsourced, such as social media postings, taking meetings and even accounting and bookkeeping should be best left to those who specialise. But I can’t afford it! scream the small business owners. My reply to them is to just think how much extra time you would have on your hands to grow your business, exceed your clients expectations and generate extra income.

2. If you do have a team and you aren’t trusting them to perform their job and constantly mumbling our favourite phrase to yourself then take a look at the team, if you are confident the team is willing and capable then you are the problem, not the team. If you do not teach them and empower them to know their responsibilities then guess what happens next time? You end up doing the same task again, except now your even busier and more stressed at having to do so.

3. Fixing others mistakes without involving them in the process will not teach them anything. “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it” as Mr Churchill is famously quoted as saying.

So now that you’ve taken a good hard look at yourself in the mirror and admitted it’s your own fault, what can we do to eradicate this sentence from our vocabulary.

1. If someone in your team makes a mistake, do NOT fix it for them. Meet with them, discuss the issue, point out your expectations and give them a deadline to report back to you. If they get it wrong a second or third time, then performance management or re-training may be needed.

2. Make sure everyone in your team is clear on their role and that they are responsible for correcting their own errors up front when they are employed or contracted to you. Less confusion will result. Documenting this process is critical and non-negotiable.

3. As a solo entrepreneur document as many processes in your business as possible, then explore outsourcing options for non-core tasks that don’t directly generate revenue. Even if you don’t outsource them straight away, documented processes make it much easier to train your first employee rather than them coming to you every five seconds because your whole business is in your head.

4. Finally, as a team manager remember that whilst 3 + 3 = 6, so does 2 + 4. As long as your team are producing quality outcomes in a timely manner, don’t get caught up in watching every minor detail and stressing because they aren’t performing tasks the way it’s always been done. Who knows, if you’re open-minded enough you may even learn something from your team, now that's real growth!

For more information on managing your small business or organisation don’t hesitate to contact mas accountants, the original accountants for small business based in Sydney and Melbourne.