It can sometimes feel like you’re getting nowhere fast when it comes to running a business and like you need to be working smarter, not harder.
More and more of your time is spent managing the everyday elements, stopping you from focusing on crafting the right strategy, nurturing your team or building the best relationships with your customers.
But if you’re ever going to step out of this cycle – to work ON the business not IN the business – you need to have the right people by your side.
Reducing your stress as an owner
Running your own business is tough – there’s no getting away from this. Our ‘For Love or Money’ campaign looked at some of the common worries, issues and challenges faced by the average owner-manager – and concerns around having the right team to support them were high on many owners’ agenda.
Our research shows that currently only a third (33%) of business owners feel they have the support of a full formal management team representing the key functions of their business. And nearly 1 in 5 (18%) say they have a management team on paper but don’t feel fully supported by them.
That’s a worrying set of stats if you’re looking to expand your company, meet your personal goals and create a healthy profit!
Creating the right team
You need a quality team behind you to meet your strategic goals – with managers and staff who have the relevant skills.
My experience as Managing Partner of Haines Watts North London means I’m no stranger to these kind of team requirements. I’m always looking at ways to focus more on clients, step back from the basic processes and learn to delegate more effectively – and to do this I have to have a team of people that allow me to achieve those ambitions.
The same is true of any business, whatever your industry or sector. To achieve that ‘dream team’ you’ve got to map out the roles you need, know what skills sets are required and find people who fit the brief for the role. It’s about balance and respecting your people’s skills – there’s no point in trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
To build that ideal team, it’s likely you’ll have to make a few changes. This means:
- Becoming more conscious of your time – as an owner, your time is precious. So, you need to be more aware of where you’re spending it. Look at all the business tasks you get involved in that take you away from your strategic role – and create a list of jobs that can be jettisoned and removed from your responsibilities.
- More delegation – you can’t be the only person keeping the ship afloat. Learn the benefits of delegation and pass that list of everyday business tasks to your management team.
- Recruit a team of people for the long term – to build your ideal team, you need to know that people are in the business for the long game. Hire people who share your mindset, understand your goals and you trust to get the job done well. If you give these people the right support, they’ll become part of a trusted, sustainable team of talent.
- Not micromanaging your people – when you’ve started your business from scratch, it can be hard to step back and let go. The worst thing you can do is micromanage your team. Let them get on with the work, trust them to get it right and resist the urge to jump in and take control of a situation.
- Having clear lines of responsibility – to optimise results from your team, let them take responsibility for their role. Have a clear structure of responsibility, with agreed procedures, processes and systems in place to support all this. Ultimately, this helps to reduce your personal concerns as the owner and spreads the business workload out effectively.
Focus on the human angle
People buy from people. In the digital age, it’s easy to forget this. There are so many online ways to reach new customers, automate your sales activity or push out social media messages to your followers. But it’s the human element of your business that really connects with (and retains) your valued customers, in my opinion.
Technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting for your business these days, but you need a great team. Tech does the black and white stuff, but it’s your people that do the all-important relationship building.