Dear Aunty B,
At the end of last week my business was two years old. I spent Saturday morning cleaning up my old office before moving to my new office, where I spent the weekend cleaning and plugging equipment into power points.
This afternoon I expect to be running around buying printer paper in between seeing clients. Although I love running my own business, I find having to attend to the trivia of tasks the worst part, but I don’t have enough staff or resources to deal with this. Any suggestions?
I suspect you originally came from a large corporate, where you have developed big company habits. What a luxury to have a PA, an IT guru, a finance team and a team to pay the bills! It is a shock to come across all the day-to-day things needed to be done to run a successful business.
There are several things you have to do. First, you must hire people who are capable of spreading their skills across a few jobs. These people don’t mind being asked to do “trivial” tasks sometimes. And they don’t mind being stretched outside their comfort zone. They are happy to see a major client and don’t mind washing a few coffee cups after the meeting.
They also show a lot of initiative and don’t need a team around them. These are the people you must recruit. And you must spell out in the interview that these are the skills you require.
Second, you must delegate. Sit down and write a list of the trivial jobs you are doing and allocate them. Then be disciplined and insist these jobs are done by your employees. You are over the crucial two year start up phase, where it is all hands on deck.
It could well be that you need to have a major rethink about your whole team. Now you have reached a new phase, you may well need different people and support.
Your Aunty B.
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