At some point, the job you created for yourself in starting a business becomes overwhelming. It’s a good problem to have – it means there is an increasing demand for your services. It also means you’re tired of losing money from dropping the ball or you’re tired or being tired.
Most business owners want to play a role in reducing unemployment. Yet research shows, small businesses are not creating as many jobs as we’d hoped for. People are reluctant to employ because they are not sure how to go about it and the labour laws are not encouraging.
There is an art to delegating jobs without adding on to the anxieties of running a business. It’s a process, so don’t expect things to change overnight – especially if you do this yourself.
Determine what the business needs
Review your business objectives and decide what needs to stop, start or continue. As a rule of thumb, you stop the time and money wasters, start adopting new tools or processes to improve and continue doing what works.
List the skills you need to support you
It’s overwhelming because you are still doing everything. List the roles or skills you need to make the load lighter. Ideally you have enough work to keep people busy for the day – else you will resent them when they are idling or misusing company resources. Consider using virtual assistance for ad-hoc tasks or agree to a fixed set of hours per week.
Document the business processes
Not to be prescriptive. The intention is to direct people to the level of service delivery that keeps customers coming back. The document becomes a training guide – very useful when you have had to employ people that don’t have the right skills or experience, but they have the right attitude.
Once this is done, you need to make sure you have the right tools to get the job done. It will save you time and money. Then you can employ people to join you in building your dream.
Make sure you’re ready for new recruits from day one. Check for signed contracts, have a workspace ready and the tools set-up. Day one sets the tone – make time for it. If you’re disorganised, there’s little hope for a positive working relationship.
Marang Marekimane is the founder of Business Process Mechanics, assisting entrepreneurs to review their business models and automate business processes to build sustainable businesses.
In 2018 Marang joined Lean Business South Africa as a Managing Partner – a tech start-up providing an innovative tool to track investments in developing small and medium sized enterprises (SME). The platform hosts data that can be used to develop products and services for SMEs while providing insights on the sector.
As part of Designathon Works in South Africa, Marang assists entrepreneurs to develop and commercialise innovative products and services. Some of these designathons are with children as young as 7 years old.
She was previously a Management Consultant, for 11 years, for banks and insurances companies such as FNB, Standard Bank and Liberty.