It’s the New Year and you’re armed with a list of resolutions: increase sales, organize everything, spend more family time, and the list probably goes on and on. The question is, do New Year’s resolutions really work, and how do you make your dreams your realities?
You can achieve your business dreams, but it takes a good understanding of a little known business secret. This secret doesn’t involve endless lists, promises of self-discipline, nor new gadgets to organize your time better.
Well, with my experience helping other business owner’s like yourself, I can tell you that people can and do achieve their business dreams, but it often takes a good understanding of a little known business secret. But, it doesn’t usually take endless lists, promises of self-discipline, nor new gadgets to organize your time better. No, indeed there is one driving secret that is essential and missing from most New Year’s resolution plans. It’s the secret that is going to help you achieve the goal that all business owners really want… more profits with less work! It is the real reason why you go through this “business resolution” process every year. It’s why you are working like a dog and not getting anywhere. And it is the reason why you should drop everything right now, because what you have likely been doing is probably taking you further and further away from the peaceful profits that you could be achieving. What is it? Oh, no…it’s not that easy, and you must read on to find out.
Have you heard of a little hamburger place called McDonald’s? This American success story involves two brothers who built a multi-billion dollar international restaurant chain, right? But, that’s just part of the story. Richard and Maurice McDonald did in fact start the restaurant chain, but it was Ray Kroc who bought the only eight-location business for $2.7 million in 1961, and then took it global. At the time of Mr. Kroc’s death in 1984, there were 7,500 restaurants worldwide. Now, there’s more than 25,000 worldwide. Ray knew the secret. So, what is it?
Let’s look at the typical business owners “to do” list. Of course, an owner wears many hats-client relations, marketing, employee management, leadership, web development, copywriting, general manager, operations manager, production manager, and the list goes on. The list I use for evaluating business functions is over 200 items long, and I find in most small businesses, the responsibility of nearly all 200 eventually fall on the owner.
So, you know you can’t do everything-you need to delegate. But delegate what to whom? And when you do delegate, who will train and communicate with this person, watch deadlines, review work quality, etc.?
This is the point where hear, “Renee, I’m working so hard on achieving my goals, am being pulled in so many directions, and I’m not going anywhere. I’ve delegated things to staff members, but everything comes back to me. I have to train, check, approve, watch deadlines, manage people and drive every task in this business, and I only have so many hours in a day.”
Have you been there? That brings us to the secret goal that needs to be on every business owner’s New Year’s resolution list – Stop being the key player on every task, and only delegate to “project managers”! “That’s the secret?”, you say. “But, what if I don’t have any project managers? I am only a small company with a couple of employees?” Yes, Yes, this applies to you too!
In order to make delegation work without being bombarded with tons of information and new tasks, you need to assign someone as a “project manager”, then let them work the entire project from start to finish. This person watches the deadlines, make decisions, and talk with other project managers and not you about little details.
Don’t have employees who could be project managers? Then, consider outsourced contractors. Even so, you still may be wondering how this will work without service and quality going to H-E-double toothpicks in a hand basket? Just remember how it worked for Ray Kroc with McDonald’s – you just need to implement systems and standards that make decision making easy for your team.
Let me give you an example from one of my clients. She has three people working in the office to help support the 15 employees in the field for her cleaning service. Now, even though she has three people in the office, throughout the day she is called into resolve client issue after client issue, leaving her no time to achieve her business goals. So, I asked her to keep a log for a week of all of the “issues” that she is asked to resolve, and it turns out that there are really only about 10 things that clients call about in her office, and a simple system of a phone script with FAQ section allowed the staff to become “project managers” of client relations, and handle 95% of the issues that formerly plagued the owner.
So, this year, don’t add any more tasks to your “to do” list. Instead, make your top resolution this: delegate complete “project management.” Resist the temptation to quickly resolve client issues one at a time, and instead implement (or better yet, hire someone else to implement) systems and standards to fix the problem for good.
That’s the secret that could make 2007 a year like no other you’ve experienced in your business. Take it and run. And, let me know about your successes, and/or how I can help.