Do you find yourself working overtime just to have enough money to pay your bills, but no matter how much you’re working you just can’t seem to keep money in the bank? The more jobs you take on, the more money you seem to spend just to keep your business afloat. In the end you just end up exhausted with no time to spend with family and friends.
In this post, we’ll discuss one of the biggest problems facing trade businesses, letting go.
The thing about being an entrepreneur is that nobody taught you how to run your business. You went to trade school to learn your trade. So it’s not your fault if you’re working all hours of the night and still not getting ahead.
We’re going to show you that by mapping out a few processes within your business, you can drastically change your life for the better.
You see, one of the main reasons small trade businesses fail to grow and scale, is that you find it so incredibly hard relinquishing control. This business is your retirement plan, so of course you’re protective of its success!
If you’re like most other Tradies, when you start to get busy, you’ll hire a few people to help with the workload, but then you fall into the never ending cycle of seeing the new hires perform a task differently from how you would and thinking “this new guy is doing it all wrong! I’ll just go back to doing things myself, at least it will get done right”. You’ll go back to being a one man show, get busy, and repeat the same cycle all over again.
Herein lies the problem, most trade owners believe that they have a unique process or way of doing things. We’re raised to believe that we need to be unique in order to provide value. That our customers buy from us because we’re the only person that delivers the result in a specific way.
But truthfully, you don’t! If your way was the only way of performing a task correctly, you would probably be the only person in your industry.
As a small business, you might also believe that you just don’t have the resources to employ or outsource. People get used to doing their own things and believe the harder they work, the more they’ll grow. “All I need is one big client and I’ve made it”.
So they build our own websites, do their own marketing and finances, and of course, they deliver the services themselves. They land that one big client and just find themselves with more work, less time and the same amount of money in the end.
Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, if you don’t have one with you, that’s OK, you can always reread this post later to do this exercise. We’re going to create a map of everything you do from start to finish when delivering a product or service to a customer.
Now at the very start of the line, i want you to write down why a customer initially contacts you.
Some examples include:
- For Plumbers: leaky pipe needs fixing
- For landscapers – the lawn is full of weeds
Now at the end of the line, I want you to write down the end result.
- Is it that the customer no longer has to worry about running the dishwasher?
- Is it that they’re lawn is the envy of the neighbourhood?
Now that you have that part done, write down every step you take from that initial call to the final happy customer. Here’s an example if you need a visual.
Now that you’re seeing this written down, try it for another service. Are you starting to see a pattern?
By mapping out your “process” and breaking it down in writing, you can determine what areas of a job you can hand off to someone else to help deliver the results. This will help free you up to work on more important things, like growing your business and spending more time with family and friends!
You’ll also start to see where you can automate things. It may be a little bit of work in the beginning, but the results will be worth it and you’ll be saving money in the long run.
It’s important to note that there are two types of activities that we can give up control of:
- Running our business
- Delivering our products or services
Often we fool ourselves into thinking that we don’t have the money or resources to get someone else to help us.
The truth is that we don’t really want others to do it because we’re happy with the way things are. If you can’t accept that you need to give up control of some parts of your business, it will never grow.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve got a process of your own. If you’re struggling to map this out, leave us a message, we’d be happy to chat.
Check out some of our other blogs for more great tips.