How to Get Your Business to Run Without You

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Take it from the CEO of Jetsmarter (a.k.a the Uber of Private Jets), Sergey Petrossov: reducing time and effort wasted on inefficiency can revolutionize your whole business. He upped his company’s annual business by over seven times, simply by spotting an inefficiency.  Common inefficiencies stem from a lack of communication, getting stuck in outdated procedures and a constant search for something new (the shiny object syndrome). Therefore you have to root out these inefficiencies so that your business can run smoothly. This requires shrewdness, a can-do attitude and professional coaching. Are you ready for it?

#1: Know Every Inch of Your Business

Knowing every inch of your business means observing what you are currently doing and asking yourself:
  1. Do I have a clear understanding of what’s important and what’s not?
  2. Am I simply focusing on each task or crisis as it comes along?
  3. Can these tasks be systematized?
Observe your current patterns to determine your strength. Then, apply those useful principles to the rest of your business to systematize the entire process. You can‘t really be objective about your company’s situation if you’re constantly carrying out daily tasks, as the ‘doer.’ You have to step back, zoom in and observe.
“Those who are most successful are capable of ‘higher-level thinking’ – i.e., they are able to step back and design a ‘machine’ consisting of the right people doing the right things to get what they want.”  – Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund
This is the only way to create a system that allows you to remove yourself and let the business take care of itself. Principles by Ray Dalio is a great resource to learn more about this approach. As is Work the System by Sam Carpenter. Once you’ve built your machine, improve it over time. Create a solid diagnosis of your goals and the problems blocking their path so that you and your team can stimulate creative solutions. Google was famous for empowering their employees with ‘secret’ information and involving them in Q & A meetings where they could openly discuss anything with anyone. A clear and open communication flow can help you identify bottlenecks, generate better ideas, and build an effective business machine. Would you agree? If so, you may benefit from a mastermind group that allows you to brainstorm core business challenges with fellow CEOs. Get that conversation started.

#2: Determine What Your Communication Strategy is Lacking

Don’t just say: “I can’t transfer my knowledge to my team.” Instead, Ask yourself:
  • Which team member, and why?
  • Is it a problem of time or a lack of shared language?
  • Poor follow-through?
  • Lack of clarity?
It’s Only when you’ve identified a problematic pattern can you get to work designing a solution. Get your team in the habit of raising issues and risks that they feel are out of their control or impossible to deliver. Communication is a tricky problem for most organizations, but it is absolutely your responsibility as a business owner to get it flowing. So, Make your vision and your values available to your team in file that is accessible to everybody in your company. This way your employees and contractors can keep coming back to whenever they are unsure of the direction of your company. Having a set of principles accessible to everyone means you don’t have to constantly re-exert effort to explain yourself. Document everything, including common Q&As, guidelines etc. Have them organized and updated, often. Good ideas come from all places. If you have a team that understands company goals, encourage them to ponder and speak up. Let them bring their disagreements into the open where it can be discussed and settled logically. Are you taking advantage of communication tools like Slack, Basecamp or ProsperWorks? Use communication technology to automate internal processes while decreasing inefficiency, human error and unnecessary delays. Bonus tip: Outlaw long and complicated emails. Communications should be razor-focused on a task, an update, or a process.

#3: Remove Bottlenecks with Technology

Leveraging technology is the best thing you can do for your business. The benefits are endless: smoother operations, greater customer experience, increased productivity and higher profits. Jetsmarter made it easy for customers to access technology and information by letting them directly schedule their flights through an app. As a result, agents were removed as a booking bottleneck and re-directed towards other tasks. For better or worse, every company is now a software company. There are hundreds of applications that can be used to run business tasks.  It’s all about connecting people, processes, technology and data. For your business to run smoothly and be highly adaptable to market needs, it needs digital integration. Use the proper tools to get you from knowledge to action in a systematic way. How can you empower your business with technology? Every industry has different needs. Companies with manufacturing, transport and large investments may need to improve operations and take advantage of their infrastructures. Other companies may want to focus on customer relationships and platforms. Use technology to support your own goals, decreasing the amount of time and effort that you as a business owner need to focus on daily operations.

#4: Get Help So You Can Focus on the Big Picture

This means passing along some responsibilities when it becomes highly problematic or time-consuming. In other words: seeking help. Escalation is not a failure — it’s recognition of responsibility. Your business is meant to grow and run smoothly without your constant input. Because it becomes successful only when treated as a separate entity worthy of investment. If time is the problem, get a virtual assistant to help you in a variety of areas, including administration, research, invoicing as well as marketing, sales and operational support. If you have a core business challenge, consult a business coach who can “shift your mindset and perspective on your business which then allows for powerful breakthroughs in the strategic direction of your company.” Seek help.

#5: Define the Roles and Responsibilities of Your Staff

Did you know that there is a significant relationship between employee performance and clarity about roles and responsibilities? According to one study: “Role ambiguity, which is absence of clarity for the roles, is considered to be one of the great bottlenecks for the effectiveness of the team.” The research went on to indicate that employers who are clear about performance, evaluation and delivery improve their business tremendously. Not only are employees happier with their own performance; they uplift the entire organization. How clear are you about your expectations? If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Almost 50% of employees across different sectors lack role clarity. With start-ups, the problem stems from a fluid environment where everybody has to do everything. However, For larger organizations, it’s due to poor communication. We’re talking about goals, priorities and boundaries. Your Employees need to understand not just how they fit into the puzzle but how the other pieces fit in, too, and how the whole thing comes together.  There is a freedom and passion that comes with clarity. This includes you as the employer, CEO or business owner. The only thing you should be focusing on is making the best decisions for your business. Remove all the other noise from your head – you’d be amazed at how many different tasks there are that you can get someone else to do for you. Seriously – here’s 84 examples!

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Conclusion

Are you ready to find out what it means to run a business that is so effective that you can pursue bigger and better goals? It’s possible. Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session today and find out exactly how you’re going to do it.

QUESTION: What inefficiencies have you found in your business that have allowed you to pursue bigger and better things? Share with us in the comments below!

Katrina McKinnon is a leading online innovator with over 20 years’ experience building and operating high performing businesses. In a market hungry for skilled online professionals, Small Revolution powered by Katrina McKinnon’s proven insights, is the fastest, most effective way to get the expertise to tap into this growing opportunity.

4 Secrets to Staying Focused

When you are dedicating yourself to achieving a specific goal, you must promise yourself to use the time you’ve blocked off for in ONLY working toward that goal.

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve blocked off time to work on that big project but you find yourself unmotivated, confused and generally unfocused?  You’re trying to remember if your son or daughter has a ride home from school, dreading an afternoon meeting or what you’ll eat for dinner tonight. 

Some call it ricochet rabbit–your mind is “Bing,”Bing”,”Bing” all over the place and pretty much everywhere but on your project.  Instead, the cursor blinks on your blank computer screen and feels like a mocking purgatory.

1–First, take a deep breath.  Know this is perfectly normal, everyone feels this way at some point. 

2–Make a list of everything that needs to be done for this project to be complete. If it’s a new product, the product has to be created, marketing materials need to be produced and the right audience needs to know about it.  What’s your role?  Do you need to research the product so you can write a fact sheet or a brochure?  Write down everything that needs to get done for that project then rank them in the order they should occur.  If you’re familiar with mind mapping this is a great technique to use for clustering all the associated tasks. 

Break the project down into individual tasks and then break those into smaller, bite size chunks. For example, you need to write a brochure–who’s the audience for the brochure?  What should it highlight?  If you’re introducing a new product for dentists for example, look at the key benefits of the product–will it save them time?  Does it make an activity easier?  What’s in it for them? 

3-Set a timer–at eggtimer.com you can set a timer on your computer that will alert you when your allotted time is up. Or, you can set the timer on your cell phone.  Tell yourself for the next 30 minutes, you’ll truly focus on the task at hand.  When your mind wanders–and it will!–bring it back by reminding yourself of your time limit. 

4–Shut out distractions for the duration of the time you commit to focusing on the project at hand.  That means close the door.  Turn off your emails, pagers, cell phone and land lines. Have a snack and drink at your desk so you don’t feel the need to get up for that.  If you have staff, tell key people you are not to be interrupted for the duration of your project slot. 

Here’s my own favorite “gotta get focused” trick.  I drink 2-4 cups of Ginkgo Clarity tea (double bagged of course).  Either this herbal concoction is really effective or my mind just convinces me I’m more focused because of it.  Hmmmmm…?

I hope you will start implementing some of my tricks for staying focused.  If you feel overwhelmed and need help prioritizing,  I’m never more than a phone call away! (215) 292-4947. For more great business growth tips subscribe at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com

QUESTION: How do you get focused when you’ve got too much to do? Please share your comments below:

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

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