September comes with a feeling of renewal, as children return to school and families regain a sense of normality.
This year, of course, additional complexities remain for many as we continue to negotiate this extraordinary year.
My experience of working with business owners compels me to stress the benefits of using this period to have a rethink about your life and your business, despite these additional challenges. There are just too many potential opportunities you miss to improve both areas if you don’t stop to take stock once in a while, and September is a great time to do this.
In an effort to help you kickstart this review process, allow me to share three steps you can take to look for personal and business-based wins. My team and I help the business owners we work with to take these steps and they are proven to help negotiate the journey as a business owner in a healthy and happy way.
- Put on your own mask first
Personal wellbeing is a theme we unashamedly maintain with our clients.
In my experience, there’s many a business owner who obsesses over the other stakeholders in their business – their team, their customers, their family – at the expense of spending a little time to consider themselves.
However, in order to look after others effectively, you need to look after yourself first.
So what do you need to do to protect your own personal wellbeing this September?
Compassion and kindness are key, not just to yourself but to others too. It is important to use your learnings and energy as a trigger for true change.
Lockdown came with time to reflect for many people and what you need and want may well have shifted.
I encourage you to use our lockdown assessment process to pinpoint any changes and set a plan to make them happen. It will help you gain clarity on a refreshed set of personal and business goals, and the next steps to achieve them.
Knowing what you want and where you’re going gives you a sense of purpose and drive to get past any current challenges. It feels good to be clear on these points, too.
Struggle to turn the magnifying glass on yourself? Ask someone who cares about you what they think you need personally and in your business, and the changes they think you should make. This can give rise to some powerful insights and conversations.
Asking for help can bring a new angle, a new perspective.
- Create a ‘stop’ list
Another thought process is to flip the coin from what you want to target, to what you want to be rid of.
Some business owners keep doing what they’ve always done in their business, even after it has developed and grown.
The result is they are often carrying out ‘caretaking’ tasks which enable others who have more recently joined the business to do their jobs, but stop them doing their own. Frustration often comes from a lack of progress, so if you recognise your own position in this scenario, be sure to address it to ensure that your professional and personal development does not continue to be thwarted.
To highlight the tasks or areas of work you need to be rid of, paint a picture of your ideal working hours and the ideal composition of your own role in your business. Then compare it to your existing hours worked and work carried out. What do you need to stop doing in order to achieve these goals?
When you are clear about what it is you need to let go, you can form a plan of how these areas will be managed in your business in the future.
There is an argument that, when more than one person is in charge, nobody is. However, as a business owner, you need the right organisational support. Yes, as the business owner you have ultimate responsibility for your business, but when responsibility for all the day-to-day stuff is on your shoulders, supporting those you care about becomes more of a challenge and you fail to stop doing the work you don’t want to be doing.
Delegation is difficult for many business owners. Successfully and happily letting go of responsibility involves ensuring the right stuff is delegated to the right people in the right way.
This begins with considering the key functions in your business.
Every business has a number of key functions. Operations, Marketing, Sales, Finance, Administration and so on.
By now you will know what you want your role to be and can ‘insert’ yourself in the management structure for the appropriate function(s).
The next stage is to consider who you have to manage the remaining areas. ‘Fill’ the empty spaces as best you can. Some functions may already be well managed. Some spaces are likely to be more challenging to consider. You will then be in a position to confirm the actions required to effectively ‘install’ someone to manage each function.
Part of this action plan should be the implementation of key measurements to be reported upon regularly by each person, so you maintain visibility and clarity on how your business is performing.
I welcome your comments and feedback on using the above steps. Let me know how you get on and remember, the Clear Vision team are here to help you follow this process if you need our support.
With best wishes