Business Transformation: Everything You Need To KnowDec 07, 2020
Many people start their own business to get away from the 9-5 grind or a bad boss, but they end up chained down by the demands of their business. If running your own business is feeling less like a rewarding experience and more like a jail cell, it’s time to take steps to transform your business. Here is everything you need to know about business transformation.
Before you keep reading, be sure to download the 7 Steps To Small Business Transformation Roadmap and follow along.
Step 1: Go Back to School
You’re never too old or experienced to learn something new. As a business owner, you can only rely on your own knowledge so much. If you run up against a problem that seems impossible to solve, it might be time to go back to school and tap into the knowledge of other entrepreneurs to find a solution.
One option is to find a mentor or invest in a business coach. When you’re stuck in your own business, it’s hard to see it from the outside. You become blind to inefficiencies and unable to chart a new course for your enterprise. This is where a mentor or coach can be invaluable. They can bring a whole new perspective to your business and offer solutions to problems you didn’t know you had. You want to work with someone who will help you grow. They pass on knowledge to you based on years of experience as well as resources and tools you may not have even thought of accessing. It could be a mentor in your field or paid Mastermind, but find someone that will collaborate with you to help solve problems and encourage you to reach your goals.
A coach doesn’t have to be a super formal arrangement. Something as simple as joining a Facebook group can provide business owners with new thoughts and ideas from other people. These online business communities—like The CoLab—can connect you with people who can use their experience to help your business overcome challenges and grow.
Step 2: Choose the Right People for Your Team
When it comes to hiring, you want to pick a team that will help your business grow. That’s because putting together a great team will help you shift duties off your plate to others. It will allow you to focus on tasks and responsibilities that will help your business grow.
Adding just one more full-time, highly capable person could literally change your business. Preparation is key to finding the right person or people to complete your dynamite team. You can start by creating a list of all the tasks you do for your business. Then determine which of these tasks you’d feel comfortable assigning to another person. It may be hard to give up some control when it comes to your business, but it will be worth it for the time and freedom you gain.
The next step is assessing your weaknesses and strengths to determine the strengths, skills, and values that you need most to make up for what you are lacking. Hiring and working with people who have the same core values as you is more important than finding someone with experience who wants to do it their way.
Step 3: Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have the right people on board, they need the right tools and resources to do their jobs. They also need the right work environment to help them feel like they’re a part of something important. Fostering an open and collaborative culture in your company will help with this mission. People want to be a part of something and want to be heard.
If you hire the right people, they will bring value to your business. You don’t want to hire someone who is throwing their resume at any and all job opportunities. You want someone who is dedicated and will bring passion to their position in your company.
Success and growth will come in time as you continue to practice your hiring, onboarding, and delegating processes. As part of your onboarding efforts, be sure to define job duties to create accountability among team members and set expectations from you for your team.
Step 4: Know Your Role
As a business owner, you know what you’re good at, which may be very different than what your employees are good at. A common mistake that business owners of any experience level make is stepping out of their role and try to “help employees with their duties. This makes sense if an employee is still new and learning. If your employee is established and working well, stepping in may feel less like help and more like an interruption, which in turn slows your employee down and makes their job harder. It also may seem as though you don’t trust them to do the job, which can negatively impact their morale and performance.
You have to trust your team to do what’s best in your business. That’s why you hired them right?
So trust them to do the job you hired them to do. Remember, delegating some of your duties is key to being able to take more time for yourself and focus on the big picture of your business.
Step 5: Create a Game Plan
Developing a game plan that keeps your business operations on track and your revenues growing starts with creating systems. It could be as simple as creating a standard greeting for answering the company phone to as complicated as creating a manual for an entire operating division, but establishing systems in your business creates accountability and consistency. Resources such as manuals and informational videos help keep training consistent and provide employees with valuable resources and information to do their job correctly.
Just starting out and don’t have any systems in place? Don’t worry, you can start small. Hire your first person, give them three tasks you want them to learn, and ask them to document everything they do as they accomplish the task. Otherwise, if they leave, their knowledge leaves with them, and you’re left starting from square one. This cuts down on the amount of time you spend training people in the future.
Step: 6 Know Your Numbers
Your business finances shouldn’t just be punched into a spreadsheet and left to be forgotten. If you feel like you’re not keeping up with your business financials, consider outsourcing that work to someone else, such as an accountant or bookkeeper. Ask them to create a financial statement that you can review monthly. This monthly review will help you identify areas within your business where you might be spending too much money or where you can save money. Having this information at hand will give you additional insight when making decisions for your business and put more money in your pocket.
Take a look at your business piece by piece to understand important information, such as your costs and revenues, the number of customers you serve, and which types of services or products you offer are the most successful in terms of profit.
It’s also important to understand the tax side of business. Many new businesses don’t set aside enough funds to cover their taxes each year, which can lead to problems down the road. Educating yourself about taxes will save you from a run-in with the Internal Revenue Service.
Step 7: Create Accountability
Finally, in order to transform your business, you’ll need to create accountability. This should be a big part of your game plan because accountability serves as the foundation for your expectations and standards. The systems mentioned in Step 5 are key to achieving this. When you have an established system and encounter a problem, you can trace it back through the system to see where something broke down and identify the responsible party.
But accountability is about more than building systems. It also requires effective communication between yourself and your employees. Your employees have firsthand knowledge of your business operations and likely observe inefficiencies that could be fixed if they’re able to open a dialogue with you. One item you need to communicate with your employees is your expectations for them. People like to push limits, so it’s important as a business owner to set standards and boundaries that let your employees know what is expected of them and what you won’t tolerate. Once everyone understands the expectations, you can all move forward together as a team.
As a business owner, there’s always something you can be doing better. By following these steps, you can take your business from feeling like a never-ending job to a successful company that feels rewarding to run.