Dear Aunty B,
I run a business in advertising. In the last year we have stood still, which actually gave me time to think about strategy for the next few years. I realised two things: (1) I don’t know how to take this business to the next step, and I don’t want to. (2) I don’t know if I am burnt out or bored.
I feel very impatient, grumpy and no longer look forward to coming to work in the morning. In fact when I think of work, I just think of having to work my way through a pile of never ending chores.
My business is profitable, has 12 full timers and some part timers. I have run it successfully for six years and have loved building it. But now I want a change. Can you give me any advice?
Sick of it,
Dear Sick of it,
Don’t feel bad. You have two choices.
First you can sack yourself. It takes guts to realise the business has outgrown you and that you want to pass it on to someone else or its growth prospects will suffer.
Your second choice is to completely restructure.
All businesses reach a stage when the generalists that helped set it up must make way for specialists. So your guy who answered the phones and did the bookkeeping morphs into two positions; an accountant and a PA. The woman who did your marketing, sales and ran the office now turns into three positions; office manager, marketing executive and head of sales, etc.
To do this you usually have to invest – either your profits or you take money from investors. Under this scenario you also hand over all the boring bits of your job to a general manager and you become a true head honcho, making sure everyone is accountable while you work on strategy, new partnerships and new directions.
You travel, benchmarking your company against companies overseas. You read widely, picking up tips and ideas. You talk at functions because you are increasingly seen as an industry leader.
Entrepreneurs who reach this stage love it! But be prepared for the pain to get there. It is akin to starting up all over again!
So here is what you should do.
Imagine the second scenario. Write down your week as the new head honcho. What does that sound like? Exciting? Thought so. You are neither bored nor burnt out. Just getting ready for your next challenge.
Your Aunty B.
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