Could Your Business Be Better?
As a business owner, this is a question that I ask myself a lot and the answer is always yes. If you don't feel the same way I am a little in awe of you as I know that my business is constantly changing and evolving and that I am always striving to make it better for my clients, my partners and anyone else who interacts with my business.
The really tricky part is working out what better looks like, especially if things are already going well. If you are making money, have a good solid client base and a healthy marketing pipeline then surely the best thing to do is to carry on as you are? After all, "if it ain't broke don't fix it", right?
No, what we should actually be saying is "if it ain't broke you can still fix it". If we wait until our business is metaphorically broken, then fixing it can be a nearly impossible task. We need to carry out regular maintenance work on our businesses and look to prevent future breakdowns by constantly striving to be better. Sounds simple enough but how can we do this?
The first step is to be aware of your role in the business, what you do on a daily basis and if what you are doing is adding real value to your business. When was the last time you kept a record of what you do each week? Do you know how many hours you put into marketing, sales, planning, people management, finances etc.? Do you know what your value to the business is in monetary terms, i.e. what is your hourly rate? Do you spend most of your time doing things you enjoy or are you spending a lot of time on tasks that you simply don't like and are doing because you feel you have to? Are you adding value to your business by doing things you don't like doing and may not have the proper skill set to do in the most effective and productive way?
If you were to keep track of this, you would most likely be surprised by the results. Let's look at an example. Meet Byron Carnicero, the owner of Byron's Butcher. He loves what he does, especially when it comes to talking to his customers about the great produce he has on offer and encouraging people to try new things. He has a team of people who work for him and the business is thriving.
But upon reflection, he seems to be spending a lot of time stuck out the back working on admin tasks and when he gets home at night, he still has a hefty to-do list before he can relax and spend time with his family.
Now, if Bryon was to track his time, he would find out that not only does he spend around 40% of his time doing things he doesn't like at work, he would also see that most of this is related to people management and finances which are not his strong suit, but they are essential to the business. If he also did a bit of back of the envelope math, he would be able to work out his hourly rate would be around $150 an hour and that the cost of the time he spends on things he doesn't like is around $120,000 a year.
Now, there is nothing wrong with Byron's business, he makes money, he has a great local reputation and a gift for dealing with customers but if he was to outsource his people management and bookkeeping to people who have a passion for it, he could regain most of the 16 hours he currently spends doing this. Instead of using up his time on things he struggles with he can invest around half that amount in outside consultants who can do the work for him and he just needs to check in once a week to make sure it is all on track.
So, if I told you that you could save $60,000 a year, get 16 hours a week back, and do more of what you love at work, would that count as making your business better? If you want to try tracking your time give our free activity tracking app a go and see how you can make your business better: thecc.app/install
by Andy Sephton