So many articles have been written about the American cultural norm that implies that “busy-ness” equates to success or importance. As professionals and business owners, for the most part we are able to write our own version of success. We get to create our own picture of work/life balance (if there is such a thing). Do we unintentionally include ‘busy-ness’ in our version of success?
We spend time and money maintaining and protecting our equipment, our intellectual property, our Team Members, our cash flow; what are we doing to maintain and protect ourselves? We are literally the glue that holds our businesses together. Some of us are the key to client acquisition, some of us are the marketing magnet, others of us are the main service providers.
If nothing else, how can we ensure the least amount of disruption in our practices and businesses if something unfortunate should slow us down or take us out completely. I’m not talking about an insurance policy of any kind. I’m talking about the day to day running of your business, your practice, should something happen.
This isn’t a morbid topic … this is smart preparation.
Here are 3 steps to begin a process of protecting (You) the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs:
1. Embrace Structure
I know. I can hear you bristling from here. As small business owners, we tend to crave freedom, fast decisions and flying by the seat of our pants. We conquer challenges on a daily basis and are fully addicted to the adrenalin rush of success. We know *what works for me* and what our clients and patients expect.
Is your day broken up into manageable chunks of time dedicated to specific tasks … or do you flit from one emergency to another, putting out fires, handling deadlines and complaints so smoothly it’s deceiving.
Research has shown us that at different times of the day we make better decisions, we flow more creatively, we listen better, and we focus more intently. It may be different for each of us, but now is the time to schedule smart … every hour is NOT created equally. There’s a reason surgical teams make statistically fewer mistakes first thing in the morning.
What can you do with your schedule to group similar tasks together in a set time framework? How long would it take your team to understand and work with these designated times of focus … which in the long run will make their jobs easier and faster to accomplish? And, your revenue numbers would improve based on your and your teams’ improved focus (you’re welcome!).
2. You’re only issued one body
Sure, some of the parts are replaceable, but for the most part, you only get one per lifetime. How’s it doing? Do you protect and maintain your body like you do the equipment in your business?
In the beginning, we feel invincible. Young and driven, we can survive on a diet of soda, fast food and pizza. Later on, our bodies are less resilient, our habits that used to work like a charm are now doing visible damage to our one, precious version of a body. Our *busyness* and success are now our built-in excuse for neglecting the one piece of machinery that we are assuming will keep running forever will little protection and maintenance.
Think about some of your long-term goals that aren’t directly attached to your business. Can you do any of those without a cooperating body? Keeping up with family, travel, sports, hobbies … all of these are more fun if you get to participate and not just observe.
3. Lean into a Support System
Again, I can feel the resistance in the air. Having an integrated support system is NOT a sign of weakness, rather a visible sign of competitive advantage. What if your goal, throughout your day, was to ONLY deliver your expertise … and nothing else? No bookkeeping, no staffing issues, no ordering of supplies, no endless marketing discussions.
Well, for one thing, your revenue would probably go up. You could work fewer hours and your revenue would still go up. Your team would become an essential piece of your practice and their experience while on the job would improve … because they were contributing from THEIR expertise … not just running to you with questions.
Your heart rate would calm because you weren’t approaching your workload like a drunk monkey. Jumping from crisis to crisis, you end up supporting everyone else on your team, instead of growing them into leaders in their own capacity (that’s a whole other article).
Time blocking specific services and team members in the schedule could be a major overhaul for some practices. Ease into it. What’s one small step you and your team could take that would be implemented and actually improve productivity in your day?
Leave a comment and let us know which of the 3 steps mentioned seems most appropriate for your business right now. What’s one small step you and your team can take and implement today?
Not sure where to begin? Reach out to me at Ruth@ShorelineStrategies.com and I’m happy to assist.