4 Reasons You Want Someone Else to Run Your Business

Do you have someone you can depend on to keep your business going when you’re not there?

As the “boss” of your company, have you reached the point where you’ve realized you can depend on your team enough to just walk out the door, when needed? Do you have an employee who knows the business inside and out, and can manage the day-to-day so you can focus on more important things, like growing the business?

It takes time to develop and prepare yourself, as well as your employees in charge, for this stage. Today we’ll cover several reasons why you’ll want to have someone else running the business, and what it takes to know you’re ready and get there!

By Annie Samoilov

#1 You want to fly off to Aruba (or Insert Your Destination) for a month.
You want that freedom lifestyle, to be a little bit more suitcase-entrepreneur, to take those social media images from around the world as your business runs without.

No one gets to do this straight away unless you are literally doing the work yourself.

The dream is possible, but before you take off, leave your business in several or even one able bodied person, you must remember:

  • It takes time to build systems and train people other than yourself to use them.
  • Giving those non-you people the time to build their own workflow and see them using the systems with consistency is key!
  • Planning must be done well in advance. Plus, when it comes to launches, you’ll need to make sure you’re available, no matter which yacht you’re on. In fact…try to plan your vacation or away time after the launch, not during it or leading up to it.

Remember: You care about your business the most if you’re a solo-preneur. Even when you hire on amazing people, you are the one responsible.

#2 Your biz will grow 10x when you hire a team.
You’ve heard the claims that your business can’t grow without a team. You need outsource. Delegate all the busy work. But the truth is, it doesn’t happen overnight! There are tons of growing pains with a new team and new hires, but if you approach it the right way with a little planning, your biz CAN grow 10x.

But you’ll definitely need to keep in mind that it takes:

  • Focused experimentation – no longer can you just float around to this and that without thinking about the bigger picture of your business. Focus on a few key offerings that work or have always worked and find new ways to improve those offerings. Having more heads does not mean more projects. I’ve definitely worked through periods of time where it felt like – wow, we are doing so many different projects. The people I know who turned their businesses around all focused…even if they’d been previously focused on something else. CLEAR YOUR PLATE.
  • Systems – honing in your key operational systems is one piece of the puzzle, but you need to make sure that they are working, evaluate them regularly and find ways to improve at regular intervals – like say, every quarter or every six months. Use your system for podcasting, evaluate after 3 months, tweak, use, evaluate, tweak, use.
  • The right fit doesn’t always happen right away – you might go through different people or realize someone either has a temperament or skill set better suited for another task in your company. You might also discover during a launch that someone simply can’t keep his/her cool when there’s a little more pressure. I know that I get a little high strung at certain points in the launch. My role has always been juggling tons of tasks and while I’m good at that, I also need someone on the team who gives me the calming touch and talks me off the ledge!

Take your time. Build and train your team to handle all important activities in your business—from the in between launch time to full blown launch madness.

#3 You’ll be more productive.
Ahh finally, someone is scheduling your blog posts. Someone is editing your podcasts. Someone is scheduling your social media. Someone is keeping an eye on your shop, your stats, your websites. You can FINALLY get something done!

Hold up! Sometimes when these jobs get taken away from you, you’ll feel like a vacuum is about to open up and you’ll be sucked in! Give yourself the time and space to figure out what productive and effective now mean:

  • Productive means you are finally getting consistent and won’t miss creating the content you set out to create. Productive might mean you finally have the energy to create a complete campaign or flesh out your next product launch in a few days.
  • You know what to do and what NOT to do.
  • You’ll spend a lot of time at the start managing what the new hires are doing until they are settled into the systems and working consistently.

Remember: Productivity and the ability to be effective takes time, practice—like a muscle that needs consistent training. Yes, aim to work yourself out of a job, but remember it’ll take time for your team to take the role your handing off!

#4 You’ll get out of the weeds and spend more time on what matters.
Again, just like being productive, this is going to be the biggest shift when you hire people. You’ll be able to get to that point but only after you’ve truly let someone else handle the day to day busy work…and:

  • It’s not so simple when you’re not sure what those high leverage tasks are.
    Sometimes it takes awhile to adjust to not doing the busy work
  • Your days will look completely different than they did before the hires!
  • You have to be ready for that hole because like being productive, your head has to be at a different space.
  • You might want to hire a coach who can support you through the shift!

In the weeds is spending time on the stuff you’ll label later as busy work, low leverage, not the important business building activities that really push things forward.

This can take awhile for many entrepreneurs to bust out of with or without a team!

How To Turn The Misconceptions Into Reality
Now the misconceptions don’t mean you can’t attain them. They just don’t happen overnight.

The best way to make these myths true is spend some time thinking about your end goal and overall vision for your business.

Step One: Ask Yourself What’s Your End Goal?
You really should be asking yourself when you do anything in your business—make it your go to filter question.

So now – before you hire even one person – ask yourself:

  • Is it to create a business that makes passive income or to “make money while you sleep”?
  • Do you want to be able to travel 3 months every year?
  • Maybe you want to work only 2 hours a day?
  • Perhaps you’ve been wanting to launch every quarter instead of just once per year?

Do a deep dive into the specifics of what you want your business to look like once you’ve got the right people in place.

Step Two: Make your dream team qualifications list
Make a list of the type of person who would need to be in place to make the above misconceptions a real possibility. I know some people who use Strengths finder tests, Enneagram type, and Myers-Briggs to figure out who their best complementary collaborators should be. I think those can be helpful guideposts, but in the end I need to be the one making the decision.

Want to be able to travel and have someone else run your business? Who would need to be on your team to make that possible?

Maybe they’d need to be self-directed, proactive, able to stick to a schedule, detail oriented, and also able to take responsibility/ownership—and also be okay admitting mistakes or finding mistakes!

You’d need to be able let go of everything happening exactly the same as you’d do something, give her good directions, let her/him establish the consistency for a certain period of time, answer questions and support the person until she/he felt confident to handle it alone…

Want to be able to launch multiple times a year and have a systematized approach each time you do it? How do you train your team or specific members of your team to launch?

What’s interesting is that most people who work with one or two people are often still not prepared to launch. The best way to train your team for a launch is to make sure you provide a list of expectations for the way work has to get done but also that you provide them with the details for the whole launch—even if they aren’t involved in those pieces.

While some people will be able to transform from your regular support team into a launch team with no real training, most entrepreneurs in this space have to get everyone on the same page before a launch can run smoothly.

No matter what you’re hoping your new team or new VA can help you achieve in your business, the starting point is you really being clear on where your business is going, your end goal, and what you’re hoping to achieve once you have help.

Read the full article here.

So where are you on the journey to making this dream a reality? Do you have one person on your team you can really trust to run the day-to-day? Talk to the partners at Flagship Financial for help.

7 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners

Keep your business on the right financial path with these tips.

So, you’ve recently embarked on your journey as an entrepreneur, and now your business is finally up and running. This is an exciting time! But although you may feel this is the point where you stop spending so much money and start making it, it’s important to realize the expenses don’t stop once you’re up and running. As a small business owner, you’ll want to be sure to have and maintain a reliable budget to keep the financial health of your business in check. Businesses of all sizes experience financial fluctuation, so it’s important to plan ahead.

Below you’ll find some expert advice for small business owners who are looking to keep their finances in check.

By Sammi Caramela

1. Involve your employees.
Just because you’re the business owner doesn’t mean all the pressure lies on you. Your budget involves everyone in your company, so each worker should be aware of its principals and add any insight or ideas they deem necessary.

“A proper budget is far too important and there are too many variables for this responsibility to fall on one person’s shoulders,” said Nate Masterson, marketing manager for Maple Holistics. “An ideal budget should undergo intense scrutiny by a team of employees with a diverse set of skills to effectively manage a small business budget. By relying on a coordinated team, you can approach your budget from different perspectives to ultimately expect the unexpected and plan accordingly.”

Additionally, employees should know about any changes you make that might affect them or your company so they understand what is expected of them going forward.

“Keep employees updated on your short- and long-term financial goals, as well as what they can do to help reach them,” said Kala Gibson, SVP and head of business banking at Fifth Third Bank. “By connecting individual goals to the business’s broader aims, you’ll keep everyone working toward the same end.”

2. Don’t underpay yourself.
Many business owners are tempted to save every penny they earn for their budget, especially in the beginning. And while it’s important to have backup finances, your budget should allow plenty of room for you to be paid.

“With so many moving parts, it is easy for small business owners to forget that they have to be paid as well,” said Doug Keller, financial planner at Peak Personal Finance. “Some people feel guilty paying themselves when it seems the money could be allocated elsewhere … but at the end of the day, the owner is still just an employee. You need to compensate yourself as such and find other methods for paying off other expenses.”

3. Define and understand your risks.
Every business venture has risk involved, and each risk could financially impact your company. Paul Cho, CEO of Align Income Share Funding, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.

“How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce?” Cho said. “Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you’ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.”

Scranton suggests listing your guaranteed income and expenses per month to understand your risks.

“This is a great baseline to figure out how liquid your company really is,” she said. “If you’re making money, then you’re able to at least set aside a portion for savings, or to go toward enhancing the company through new hires, expansion, etc.”

4. Overestimate expenses.
If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. Often, you can’t predict when something will go over budget.

“So much of business is planning and reacting to the unexpected,” said Keller. “For small business owners, failing to anticipate an expense or its magnitude could prove disastrous and cripple the organization before it has had time to grow. To counteract that, it is important that business owners overestimate expenses and shield themselves. Doing so is a survival tactic that will allow owners to hedge against risk or failure.”

“Every project seems to have [an extra] cost that was never anticipated,” added James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr.

For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you’ll be prepared.

5. Pay attention to your sales cycle.
Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an “off season,” you’ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to plan for your next sales boom.

“There is much to be learned from your sales cycles,” he said. “Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. To keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.”

Scranton said if you know your business has slower times, you should have extra money in the bank during those months.

“It’s best to try to keep costs down even more in the off seasons and to have extra money saved in case the money coming in isn’t as much as you had hoped,” she said.

6. Remember that time is money, too.
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.

“Timing underestimation directly increases costs,” Ontra said. “Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.”

Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will realistically be done.

“If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday,” he said. “So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday, and you are still a success.”

7. Constantly revisit your budget.
Your budget will never be static or consistent — it will change and evolve with your business, and you’ll need to adjust it based on your growth and profit patterns.

“For small business owners, it takes time to learn the cyclical nature of the business as seasonal trends naturally affect budget and organizational efficiency,” said Keller. “Especially early on, the budget may undergo many changes to adjust to new or fluctuating costs. As a result, it is imperative that small business owners be mindful of this and stay on top of their budget and adjust it as needed.”

Cho suggested revising your monthly and annual budgets regularly to get a clearer, updated picture of your business finances.

“Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions, because you will know exactly what you can afford to spend versus how much you are projecting to make,” Cho said.

You should also consider past market trends to help prepare yourself for the year ahead. From there, you can factor in emergency funds and unexpected costs, Cho added.

Read the full article here.

So do you have a good budget in place for your small business? Be sure to contact the partners at Flagship Financial for help, if you need it!