Monday, 26 May 2008

Focus on your core skills - let others do what they are good at

It can be hard when you start a business to get everything done. Not only is there the work that you started the business to do, your passion if you like, but there are also all the other things that need doing that keep a business efficient.

These are often the tasks that drain your energy and take you away from your core skills. Prospecting, accounts, banking, tax issues, marketing, sales, networking, insurance issues, payroll, staff issues, training and so on. Sometimes it can seem that there is not enough time to do what you went in to business to do, and yet all these things have to be done.

Advisors will tell you "outsource" and it seems logical. However this can be scary. After all it means investment in paying someone else to do the things that you could do yourself and save money. At the beginning it is even more of a dilemma.

How do you balance expense against your own productivity?

I struggled with this for a long time. I am perfectly capable of keeping reasonable accounts. I know what I want in terms of how my office is organised. I can theoretically turn my hand to writing script for website. I can put a sales letter together and no one can network for me so I have to do that myself.

Then I realised that I was spending 12-18 hours a week on my accounts. I was being diverted from getting new clients by posting articles on various websites around the world. I was creating spreadsheets to track coaching and training hours. I was developing new ways to market my business. I was doing everything I could do move my business forward, I told myself, but I wasn't getting enough time and I wasn't getting enough clients!

So when the light bulb came on with the accounts fiasco, I woke up and smelt the coffee. I got myself a book keeper. Suddenly I had "created" another two days to my week. She did what she did best which freed my time up to do what I did best. Then I engaged a marketing coach and she supported me with what she does best. After that I took on a new accountant and a financial advisor, a new bank, a success coach and got involved in a mastermind group. It wasn't long before I had a great support team around me and I was then able to do what I do best, coach, train and speak at events. The business literally went from zero active clients to the best ever month in 4 weeks and each subsequent month continued to grow.

I'm not saying it wasn't scary. The idea of investing more money after having already put everything into the business was terrifying frankly, but it did mean that I had created my very best chance for success because I had stacked the odds in my favour.

The best move of all though was taking on admin support. With two part time assistants I could now delegate all those essential yet time consuming tasks around the office. Keeping the database up to date, creating spreadsheets, prospect call lists, filing etc etc etc. This was the crunch. This enabled me to go from 1 "focus" day a week and 6 "buffer" days to 3-4 focus days and 1 or 2 buffer days AND get at least 1 totally free day and even 2!!

I then began to find that the more I delegated the more I got done...obvious really, but when your business is your baby you don't want to give it to a baby sitter!

It's a stretch to move into "outsourcing" but it is, without a doubt, one of the quickest and most satisfying decisions you can make. You get to focus on your skills, those things that you went into business for, and you allow others to do what they do best in support of you. Tu
You can employ people later but in the first instance just get your support team on your bus and watch the results improve.

A word of caution though...make sure you use the extra time you create to drive your business forward. Don't fall into the trap of outsourcing and then divorcing yourself from your primary responsibility of making your business work. That's an avenue that, if followed, will certainly lead to misery.

So my tips for success right now are:

1. Create a powerful and effective support team
2. Outsource anything that is not your core skill or passion
3. Delegate, delegate, delegate

And of course, hire a success coach! ;o)

To your success!

If you want to know more about how success coaching can help you transform your business visit is at and submit an enquiry, or call us for an informal chat on +44 (0)28 9048 8673.

Your success is our business!

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