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Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Are you Working for a Madman?

As the owner of a small business you are responsible for everything. You will have discovered by now that running a business is a lot more complicated than you first thought and producing your product is only a small part of running a business.
Typically businesses are started for two reasons firstly because the owner was made redundant  and secondly because the you thought you could do better than your current owner in making it, delivering it  or providing the service.
Now that you've started your new business you really start to get stuck in. You've got to find orders so you go out and sell, process the orders arrange to have you product and or service made and delivered. Next you've got to arrange to invoice for it the to make sure you get paid, chase debt, provide information to the authorities on profit and earnings; take on and manage staff (never easy), set manage and review the company strategy. To keep the company successful you must keep this cycle moving 
Pretty soon you're actively involved in all these areas, yes you've employed staff but they don't seem to have the drive or the enthusiasm to get it all done, so you cover.
You've had your business now for 2-3 years its bigger but your working harder and harder to keep on top of things, your get a reasonable salary but probably if you dare calculate it you are the lowest hourly paid in the company. You get less time off and your working weekends.
If this looks like you -  then you're working for a madman: and the madman is you!
So how do you bring back sanity?
Well the first thing to do is to find a way to change “insanity” as they say “is doing the same thing today as you did yesterday but expecting different results”
Change is what is required and it starts with you.
So the first thing to do is to put some clear structure down for your business and do some business planning. Next identify which functions you are best suited to best and give those your least able to do to others. Third get some structure and processes into your business, yes but you say I already have that. Then ask yourself can this process run smoothly without your intervention and is there a step by step guide. If the answer is no which I suspect it will be then you don't have a process.
Fourthly, work your way out of jobs, that is to say once you've got a structure and a process mapped out give that work and responsibility to someone else, your job is to manage them not do it for them.
Whilst this is straight forward it is not easy, the day to day problems caused by your lack of structure will not immediately go away but if you're persistent you'll see tremendous benefits.
Exigent Consulting specialises in providing Business Turnaround, Sales, Marketing and Mentoring to the Small and Medium Business. We help Business Owners improve the profit performance of their business.

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