Why is everyone going to the beach except you?
4 tips to help you take a break from your own business
This is the toughest time of the year for many small business owners.
Why? Because while everyone else is talking about the vacations they plan to take this summer with their families, the owners are stuck.
The owners are often the last person who feel comfortable enough to get away and take a break from their businesses.
Who’s to blame?
You can’t blame the managers. You hired them and trained them. You can’t blame the employees. You hired them too and decided their roles and responsibilities. Sorry, but if you don’t feel confident enough in your people to take time off this summer – or any time of the year – there’s only one person to blame.
How does this happen? How does it get to a point where you, as the business owner, is the one stuck in a job where you can’t even take vacation? Just about every client we work with faces the same problem. They tell us: “I need to be there in case something goes wrong…My employees aren’t ready to manage the business on their own yet…I just have to be there…I will never be able to relax while I’m away so it’s better for me to be there…I’ll take time off later.”
Does this sound familiar? “I need to be there in case something goes wrong…My employees aren’t ready to manage the business on their own yet…I just have to be there…I will never be able to relax while I’m away so it’s better for me to be there…I’ll take time off later.”
Here’s the problem: Many small business owners operate out of fear. They’re afraid that employees will make costly mistakes. They’re afraid of becoming too reliant on employees who may leave one day. They’re afraid that they may not be needed.
As a result, business owners often build businesses and make hiring decisions so that the employees are dependent upon them. Fortunately, you still own the business and you can turn it around so your business can operate without you. Here are 4 tips to help you:
1. Begin with YOU in mind. What is that you’re best at in your business? What do you enjoy most? What skills do you have that bring the most value to the business? It could be hiring and training staff, negotiating with vendors and suppliers, marketing and advertising, publicity, accounting, etc. Focus on what YOU enjoy most and how YOU would like to spend YOUR time in the business.
2. Hire for the skills that you either don’t have or aren’t passionate about. For instance, if you don’t enjoy marketing and advertising, you shouldn’t be doing that because no one else is willing or able to do it. Hire someone to do it or subcontract it to someone who has the passion and expertise. You wouldn’t hire someone to do a job they’re not interested in so why should you get stuck in a job you’re not interested in doing?
3. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades in your business. You know how the rest of the expression ends. Instead, put the right people in the right seats in your business. Yes, you may have to pay more to get skilled people or invest in the training, but they will deliver a far better ROI because they will help you grow your business.
4. Let go! Give your people the freedom to make mistakes. You have made plenty of mistakes yourself – and that’s how you learned. Allow your employees to test new ideas, take on new responsibilities or try something different. The key is to measure the results so you can determine what worked, what didn’t and what was learned from the experience.
Here’s the biggest mistake I see business owners make as they begin this process. They immediately begin to focus on their employees. Wrong! Go back to the first tip. Begin with YOU in mind.
Everything should begin with you. Build the business around you so your employees are supporting you. Otherwise, you will find yourself stuck again with a business that depends on you and doesn’t support you.