It’s easier than you think to avoid the point of no return. So why is it, we avoid getting the help we need, when we need it until it’s too late, and we’ve passed the point of no return?
It’s pretty ironic, we run small businesses, and we want them to grow, but the vast majority of small business owners sabotage themselves, and 12 months later they shut up shop.
First things first, let me clarify what I mean when I refer to small businesses. I’m talking about those who start up a consulting, coaching, speaking or leadership business. They’ve retired from their corporate roles, and start a business where they predominantly work out of their home office. Sounds great, doesn’t it? So why on earth would anyone who does this need to consider getting help and I suppose the next question to be considered is how do they know they need help?
There are several things you can do to get help at the right time.
Avoiding the point of no return
Know the big picture
So, you’ve been in business 18 months, and your turn over is > of 6 figures, 20 to 30k a month and you need to scale up and be smarter about how you do business. You know where you want to be, you’ve done your five-year plan, you visit it often, and you’re pretty much on track. But to go the next step you need help, someone to help you launch your product, manage your client sales process, set up your landing pages or get your social media organised.
Delegation is a huge problem. It can destroy many a VA / client working relationship. Believe it or not, your contractor will pull the pin. They will try many ways to help you with the delegation process but remember their role isn’t to be your Mum, their purpose is to be your problem solver, and they can only do that if you give them the problems, to begin with. Entrepreneur recently released an article, 4 Tasks Successful Leaders Should Delegate. It’s a great place to start no matter which works from home business type you have.
How do I know
When I started my business as a virtual assistant almost eight years ago, I worked with a few clients who had trouble delegating. They would do things like:
- Send a quick email saying they think they might do this… I would then follow up with some scenarios for them to do what they’re thinking about. Next would come another email saying “Sure”. Then I’d follow up again, saying which scenario suited them better. The next response would be ‘Let’s look at this again in a week’. Then the wheel would turn, and I’d follow up only to have it either pushed out again or more indecisiveness.
- Send a quick email saying let’s do this… If I didn’t have the detail I needed already, I’d ask for it. A week would go by, nothing. I’d follow up only to be told, “I don’t recall” and round we would go.
- Send a quick email and then procrastinate.
I’m not the fluff around type, three strikes and you’re out. Your time is valuable and so is mine, after all, I’m running a successful OBM business now, and I have a small team who help me because early on, I realised that if I wanted to keep growing my business, I needed to get help and delegate. I’m a Mum, a natural delegator (my children would happily confirm that). I’ll give you 100% trust immediately, and it only wains when you break that.
3 things to help avoid the point of no return
If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of your business, you will know what’s working and what isn’t working. The math is easy; if you’ve got more not working than is working, it’s time to get some help. It’s easier than you think!
Trust – In order to delegate you need to trust. I have a client who has been with me for 7.5 years. He tells referrals that I know more about him than his family do. I have access to every aspect of his life online to run his business including CC and passport information. The trust factor for him of me is through the roof. Another client that I’ve been working with for a year now has given me access to his Xero account to undertake reconciliation and invoicing. Talk about opening the back door of his business to me. Whoever you work with you need to have the same level of trust and if you can’t trust don’t delegate.
For almost ten years I worked for Myer, Australia’s most iconic department store. From 2006 to 2011, I worked with a management board director, attended the board meetings and was the proverbial fly on the wall. There was a reason for that, trust. It’s what I do! Integrity is everything as an online business manager.
Decisiveness – Know your mind. Planning, vision boards and storyboards are just some of the tools to help you plan the road you want to take for your business. If you decide to get the help, you need to trust them, utilise their expertise and watch the changes happen. Being decisive is a game changer. Jim Fannin wrote an article for the Huffington Post about this very thing, in the business section, he refers to being upfront and direct with your team. Sage advice.
Delegation – This is the easy part when you have trust and are decisive.
“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve”. – J. K. Rowling