In the business world, just like in sports, everyone has certain skill-sets that are suited for certain role on the team. In large businesses, those who are creative tend to gravitate to roles like marketing, product design and so on. Financially savvy people tend to work in accounting, detail driven people possibly legal or engineering. However small business owners and their fewer employees try to wear several hats, often achieving results that are not what they hoped for.
Let’s say you run a small business selling furniture. You have a few employees that are either good in design, sales, and maybe you make the furniture yourself so you have a skill in carpentry or refurbishing antiques. Within your company, nobody really likes to do the financial keeping of the books, and that side of the business starts to suffer. You feel that you will get to it eventually, until the day comes to report to the Canada Revenue Agency, and everything is in disarray.
You call a book keeper, and they do their best to wade through your financials to get your house in order. They charge a high fee because they have to work around the clock to get your records sorted and prepared. Wouldn’t it have been better to have sent the book keeper your records on an ongoing basis so they could have been better prepared to file? Or maybe you are an accountant, but nobody wants to come into your office because it is in disarray from all the papers and files you have amassed.
As entrepreneurs, often our business is a reflection of our ego. If we fail in business, or show any sign of weakness, we often feel that is a direct reflection on who we are as a person. So often to our disadvantage, we try to do everything in business from cleaning toilets to running the board meetings. If we or our immediate colleagues do not have a skill in a certain area that is necessary for us to run our business, we are better off hiring for that skill instead of the “fake it until you make it” approach.
Try these steps:
- Write down one thing in your business that you absolutely love doing that you would never give up. Never contract that out.
- Jot down a few things that you like to do, but if you had help it would be OK if someone else would do. If you are successful enough to hire employees, get them to do that.
- Record something you really don’t like doing, you aren’t good at and you don’t directly have access to that skill.
- Find someone that is in the business to do number three, have coffee with them, and see what it would take for them to take that work off your hands. They may be able to refer you the type of business that you love doing, and it will free you up with more time to do what you went into business to do.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of your business. Think of contracting out aspects of your business such as marketing, technology, sales or cleaning your office as relationship building opportunities. The quality of your business overall will improve, and your ego will benefit from your long term success. Even the greatest golfers need skilled caddies to carry their clubs and advise them of strategy. Don’t go into the rough trying to do everything by yourself.