When was the last time you gave yourself a promotion?
If you’re a business owner, this question might seem a little odd. After all, you’re the boss. There’s not really a next level, is there?
But there is.
As an advice business grows, many advisers unknowingly fail to get rid of tasks that really should be done by junior staff. The analogy I’ve found useful here is one shared with me by a mentor of mine.
As a kid growing up in the 80’s, I was, as many kids were, obsessed with the Space Shuttle. As you’ll probably be aware, it’s hard to get something as big as the Shuttle into space. Gravity doesn’t co-operate.
So the Shuttle needs to carry massive amounts of fuel, stored inside giant booster tanks, just to escape the Earth’s atmosphere.
As it goes up, the fuel in the booster rockets starts to exhaust. Eventually, it reaches a point where it’s the Shuttle doing the carrying, rather than the rockets doing the lifting.
At this point, it does the only thing it can logically do; jettison the rockets, and continue its journey into space.
Your business has booster rockets.
There are things you did at the beginning which were absolutely vital for you to get started. They may have included marketing, admin, bookkeeping and other tasks only you knew how to do. You may have done them simply because you didn’t have the money or the knowledge to outsource them.
Do you continue to try and do these same tasks as you grow?
If you did, adding in new tasks and responsibilities as your business grows and expands, you’d soon find yourself in a situation that many advisers now face. In other words, swamped, overwhelmed, and with no time left for the things you really should be doing.
It’s a reality that often advisors put off the things which really matter, such as seeing clients, building referral sources, working on new marketing strategies, developing new offers or even working out systems and processes and a business model behind it all, instead focusing on completing tasks as they come into the inbox and workflow.
It’s understandable, but it’s classic big rocks failure. If you just focus on the sand (i.e. small admin tasks, your e-mail inbox, your calendar), you end up with no time left for the important stuff. Your big rocks.
What’s the solution?
It’s pretty simple. Get a whiteboard or a big sheet of paper. Make a list of all the tasks you undertake on a regular basis in your business.
Make sure you cover all categories. Include the marketing tasks, the stuff to do with new clients, the stuff to do with managing ongoing clients, admin and more.
Once you’ve done it, identify the ones that if you’re able to focus on, would add maximum value to your business. These are the things that if there was nothing else around, you would focus your time on, because it’s going to generate the best results. Highlight this with one colour.
Then, be brutal and ask yourself an open question. If money was no object, if the right resources were available, what could I potentially get someone else to do?
This could be someone you employ, it could be an outsourced provider or partner, it could be a virtual assistant, or it even could be putting in place technology that would do the same thing just as well or even better.
Now, if you’re on the right track, you’ll start to notice that anywhere from 20% to 30% of your role as a business owner/ adviser is the stuff that really generates results and you love. Meanwhile, anything from 30% to 60% is stuff that other people could conceivably do.
Your challenge now is to decide what you outsource or delegate first
I’ll give you a tip. Choose the stuff that happens most frequently. Stuff you do daily, or weekly, or monthly. These are the low hanging fruit where, if you can eliminate them, you can claim back most time.
Choose two systems that you can outsource immediately. Video record an instructional video using screen capture software. Give the tasks over to someone else.
Next month maybe choose three others. The following month choose five.
Make this a habit and you’ll find yourself very quickly leveraging your ability to make a difference in your own business.
Business owners that go through this usually suddenly realize they’ve been doing things for a while, simply out of habit. They connect with the idea that the time for owning those tasks has passed.
Once you set yourself free from this, you’ll realize that growing your business at an expedited rate isn’t about the things you do to bring clients in, or the things you do in order to service existing clients.
Often, it’s more about the things you choose to no longer do.
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