“Owner/operator” is a label to be worn with pride. It reveals that you have the initiative to start things up and the drive to keep them going.
However, wearing this label does not mean that you must manage every task required to run a business all by yourself. You didn’t build your own van and equipment, or formulate your cleaning solutions, because it was obvious that these were too complicated to learn and accomplish on your own.
This same principle should also apply to many of the other tasks and responsibilities associated with running a company.
Running a business now demands more than it did just 10 years ago. The technical skills needed are greater, equipment maintenance is more complicated, consumer expectations for speedy and quality service are higher than ever and advertising and marketing are changing at breakneck speeds.
You can solve this complexity challenge by creating a support team of specialists. Owners cannot do it all on their own, but by assembling a good team, their life can run more smoothly, be more productive and be far more enjoyable.
In the past, companies needed to hire trained employees to handle bookkeeping, marketing and other specialized office work. Fortunately, in recent years it has become far easier to outsource these services, large and small, via the internet to independent professionals. Small companies now have the ability to hire a vast variety of helpful services that were only available to large corporations before.
Get tasks done
Your job, as owner, is to make sure all of the tasks your company requires get accomplished. No one is good at or enjoys doing all the jobs of a small company. Trying to do them all yourself generally produces poor results and makes you miserable in the process. Identify the jobs you dislike, those you are not good at and those that are not a good use of your time. Consider contracting these to outside companies.
Assemble your team
Put together a list of the tasks you could consider outsourcing (see suggestion list at the end of this article.) Many websites exist that can help you find good people to fill these roles. I have used Upwork.com, Fiverr.com and Craigslist.com with good success. For each of these services, simply place your ads and interview the applicants.
The great thing about outsourcing this way is that if someone doesn’t work out, there is always a line of other people to try. Be sure to find people who produce the quality of work you want.
Recognize and reward your team
Once you have a support crew, you want to stay in touch with them and let them know they are key members of your team. Be sure to recognize their good work and give incentive rewards when appropriate.
Some of the key members of the support team for my carpet cleaning company were my mechanics. I made a point of bringing them doughnuts and doing other nice things for them. I needed them to recognize my name when I called and pay special attention to me when mechanical emergencies happened. My attentiveness to them always paid off.
Are they worth the money?
I can imagine some of you might be thinking that you don’t have the time or money to build such a team. Not having time to put together a team proves that you need help. As for not being able to afford it, I have found that the work of skilled support people produces better and faster results than I could have possibly achieved on my own. Also, the tasks I dreaded got done well and reliably when I contracted them out.
It takes a team
Get over the idea that you always save money by doing it yourself. That is no longer the case.
Take time to analyze tasks that need to be done. Determine which are best for you to do and which you would be better off delegating to someone else. Enlist professionals to your team and let them know you appreciate them.
Once you have found the right people to share your load, your business will run more smoothly, you will get better results, and the quality of your life will make a huge leap forward.
Suggested tasks and services for outsourcing
- Financial advisor
- Business consultant
- Marketing consultant
- Data entry
- Tax preparation
- Customer follow-up administration
- Mechanic for vehicle and equipment
- Technical training
- Emergency technical advice
- Web design
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Editing for printed and website/blog materials
- Graphic design
- Video productions