Many business owners start their business with the desire to create and go it on their own. They want to create a business that generates a healthy income for their family and gives them the lifestyle they desire.
The problem is that most of the time, they end up creating a job for themselves instead.
As the saying goes…
“I want to start my own business so I can work whatever 15 hours a day I choose!”
I know when I started my first business I did it all. Designing websites, creating sales materials, answering the phones, billing, etc. I was the one man show and proud of it.
But I ended up working myself to complete burnout by doing that as well. It took almost a decade before I realized that doing things that way is not having a business, it’s having a highly stressful job and instead of having one boss, I had hundreds.
You can’t do it alone. Even if you’re just starting out, start documenting the systems in your business. Even if you’re a one man or one woman show, document things now with the plans to delegate, outsource and even sell in the future.
The goal… be ABLE to fire yourself when you are ready. Even if that’s 15-20 years from now, plan it now so you’re prepared for it later.
Here’s where this starts:
List out the tasks you do in your average day. What projects are you working on?
As you do the tasks, document the process. Create your own operations manual for one piece of your business.
Here’s an example for one of my regular tasks and how I’ve documented it for myself and for the purpose of handing off pieces of it in the future.
Blogging- This is something I do on a regular basis on our site. It’s something I use for sharing content, driving traffic and building rapport with our visitors. I personally love doing it.
But, the writing of the blog post is just the beginning of the process.
- I find the topic
- Write the article
- Edit the article
- Find a photo that goes with the article
- Post it on our website
- Share it to our social media sites
- Share to blogging groups (great boost for extra traffic)
- Reply to and approve any comments that come in
That’s quite the list, right?
By documenting the process and listing out all those steps (and the resources that go with them) I have now created a documented system for writing a blog post. Let’s face it, we all make mistakes and forget things. Each time I write, I can check off the items on the list to make sure that I never miss a step.
And, I’m prepared to delegate pieces of the process as well. When I’m ready, I can hire an assistant to take care of the parts that I don’t really like to do… AKA everything past actually writing the article.
I know that if I give them a documented step by step process with all the links, needs, resources, etc that they should have no problem taking over as soon as I’ve finished writing the article.
That just turned 2 hours of work into 1 hour for me.
And… I’m working on the things I love to do. Not the parts that actually are a chore to me.
What if you built those systems for each part of your business? Would your business run more efficiently?
Would you keep quality control high?
What if you hired that assistant? You’d be able to work on the things that you love to do and let them take over the rest.
That’s building a business that you can love. Knowing that you don’t have to do all the work and that it will still get done the right way.
No matter where you are currently, solopreneur or running a 20+ person staff, invest the time now to document everything you can in your business. Get that step by step process on paper. It may take a bit more time now but it will save you countless hours of time and frustration down the road.
Learn more about Process Street, a simple, free tool for creating beautiful and rich process documents in seconds by clicking here.
Totally agree. I think a lot of hard working people dont understand opportunity cost. Nice post. Found you on reddit!