Many business owners feel they need to be 100% involved with all aspects of their business for it to run successfully. This is particularly true of Tradie business owners who have normally spent many years being “hands on” and engaged in their craft from which they have built their venture.
The truth is, delegation and building a successful team around you is a key factor in the growth of any business. Business owners therefore need to set up a strategy to get off the tools, and spend time working on other aspects which will help the business thrive.
The main objection we hear when we suggest this to clients is almost always the same phrase: “but it’s easier to do the work myself.”
Yes, you could do it yourself – but you don’t have to, and you shouldn’t.
After this initial phrase there is normally a “because” that follows and then a slew of reasons are offered as concerns or excuses as to why these Tradies simply can not come off the tools. We have heard almost all of them and can debunk the most popular ones:
“I can do a better job if I do it myself” – This one really does come back to the perfectionist mentality that many of these business owners have. At the end of the day, their handiwork is the commodity their business is built on and it is being evaluated with every job they take on. The pride they have in their work is admirable. What about the saying though that “you are only as strong as your weakest link?” Delegation means making sure your team is capable and confident to carry on in your absence. This means taking time off the tools and investing time into your systems and staff. The investment you make in your team is crucial to their growth as an employee, to your growth as a leader, and to the business itself. A business in growth mode is dependent on having the right systems in place and the right people on board.
“I dont have the patience to watch them try and do it, it’s quicker if I do it myself” – Business owners are always acutely aware of the importance of time. Just as discussed above, this really does come down to the development of your employees, and as an extension of that – the development of your business. Whilst it may be quicker for the boss to take on the job initially, by spending time working on the skills of your employees, particularly when mastering a trade, their productivity will increase. Productivity is a key factor in business growth and is a metric which is often one of the easiest to improve on. Having skilled AND productive workers go hand in hand and will assist with growth and revenue. You are essentially buying your time here – in the hours you can have them bill out and in the hours you will be able to take off the tools and dedicate elsewhere.
“It will cost me less if I just do it myself” – Many of the business owners who are just about to hit growth or are plateauing before their next growth phase are conscious of the dollars they are spending. This is great, but unfortunately in many cases when it comes to this reasoning, it is misguided. The issue here is that many of these Tradies aren’t taking a substantial enough wage for themselves and they are reinvesting everything back into the business. Our question to them is “if you were paying yourself what you should be, is it really cheaper to do it yourself?” This question is then followed with “What is your time worth?” and “In the long run, what is this saving you by doing it yourself?” Yes, you guessed it – it’s not really saving you anything and it is potentially costing you business growth.
Burnout is real and you don’t need to be hustling all on your own
The hard work which is put into a business can quickly be undone when business owner burnout takes hold. Beyond the feeling of there simply being not enough hours in the day, fatigued owners often end up feeling disengaged from their business, which can result in poor performance. When a business is in growth mode there are so many factors which can stall or halt progress and burnout is one which can be avoided. Systems implementation, delegating, outsourcing and better business management will free up your time and mental capacity to deal with the tasks reserved for the business owner.
Expand with high quality people in your corner
Beyond having a team of capable trades people in their corner, it is crucial that other facets such as back of house operations are run successfully. The traditional model of hiring an in house bookkeeper or administrator, or engaging a relative to work these tasks are no longer necessary or productive. These days we have the technology to minimise cost and maximise efficiency in back office operations. Instead of farming out tasks to numerous staff (or relatives) with narrow skills and qualifications (cost adding up!), build a network of professional advisors that support your business from the ground up, covering admin, bookkeeping, accounting, marketing, IT, legal and personal wealth development. This ensures you are receiving export advice on a “big picture” level and eliminates the need for correcting errors and double handling. The cost of outsourcing to a professional network of experts in these areas is significantly lower than hiring in house, much less stressful, entirely educational, and keeps you ahead of the game. Remember high quality internal systems and tech need to be in place for best results, which your professional network can assist with also.
Opening yourself up to new opportunities by allowing space for growth
Leaving your comfort zone is hard but taking time off the tools and investing in your employees, your systems and your business practices will help nail down the fixtures and ensure your business is in the best position possible to transition to growth. Think of it as growing pains – by moving off the tools as a specialist in your trade to more of what is often seen as a generalist role can be rewarding. In business, this is akin to taking the steps from being a manager to a leader. It does not mean you have to sacrifice your passion or what made you go into business to start with, delegating and pulling back allows you to step up, work on your venture, and smash your goals, allowing you the chance to eventually go back to the tools… but because you want to, not because you have to.