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Thread: Finding myself too operational or hands on

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    Finding myself too operational or hands on

    I'm curious about small business owners. It seems to me that we may be too hands on in our businesses, which means we don't 'let go' enough to focus on strategy and building the business footprint.

    Anyone out there who has used a business coach, I'd really appreciate your feedback - is it worthwhile? or did they tell you what you already knew.

    As the breadwinner in my house, I find that I delay taking risks, which means that my business is not moving in the direction I want it to go.

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    Its all very well on spending money for a business coach, which I wouldn't do. Yes the problem is real. Maybe look at where you need someone that could help you e.g. answering calls, computer work, cold calling, helping manufacture etc etc and then get one person in that position - learn to delegate and you will find that things will start coming right, then you can hire another person later on. The biggest problem in a small business is the fear to expand, BUT at the end of the day you will not grow if you don't hire more staff. You will end up chasing your tail and trying to do everything but end up not doing things correctly.

    There are a number of books out there that may help

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    Silver Member Greig Whitton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Smith View Post
    I'm curious about small business owners. It seems to me that we may be too hands on in our businesses, which means we don't 'let go' enough to focus on strategy and building the business footprint.
    This is an extremely common challenge. I like to describe it as the "growth cul-de-sac": growing your business to the point where it becomes stuck, in part because your business is so dependent on you.

    Working with a business coach can help, but a good coach is less likely to tell you what to do and more likely to ask questions that you hadn't previously considered (thus, illuminating the blindspots that are holding you back).

    There's some merit in HR Solutions' recommendation, but the solution is rarely as simple as hiring more people. Growing your team may be necessary, but even if it is it's just one piece of a bigger puzzle. If not handled correctly, it can actually exacerbate the problem (e.g. you might end up running around putting out fires because your new employees don't have the right skills / work ethic and/or aren't equipped with the right systems / resources).

    Founder of Evergrow - Helping South African business owners grow their business without the growing pains

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    ians (25-May-17), Susan Smith (14-May-17)

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    If not handled correctly, it can actually exacerbate the problem (e.g. you might end up running around putting out fires because your new employees don't have the right skills / work ethic and/or aren't equipped with the right systems / resources).
    I think it goes without saying that you would hire someone that can do the job, not anyone to fill a gap !

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    I went to a business coach workshop on Friday. It was very informative. I did not really learn anything new. Just confirming what I should be doing! So, a back to basics is always a good refresher workshop to attend now and again. I suppose it's the time to implement all the changes one needs to make. However, I have mapped a plan and .................... one step at a time. Hiring a PA or admin lady will be one of the first steps in the new arm of my business. Thanks for the help chaps, very much appreciated. Fortunately as a Psychometrist, my hiring process will be such that the person is competent, meets with my value system and has a high level of integrity. Could take a while to find the right person, but once I have allocated a budget I can make decisions around having less time spent on my business. Essentially I want to have a business that I can sell - that does not need me to run it.

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    I think we all like to hire people that are "competent , meets our high level of integrity" etc !! So you are no different !

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    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    Trouble is such people do not grow on trees... and are often expensive too. Just had another episode of giving someone a chance to enter my industry as he was keen and I saw a future leader. Then he left after short 3 months without notice into another industry... When I picked up the pieces he left me with I found out he had barely done half of the jobs I trysted him to do.
    Houses4Rent
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    Global Residential Property Investor / Specialized Letting Agent & Property Manager

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    26 years later and I stilled haven't found someone to fill the position...a person who thinks and works as hard as I do...they are all self employed.

    Something that is getting me a lot more work...owner supervised/hands on projects...customers are getting tired of teams of semi and unskilled labour collected on the corner being dumped on site while the boss man goes off for the day..."managing his/her business".

    I go into a project hands on...business grows faster than I can handle it...grow the team and leave people on site to do the brain dead stuff...loose customers faster than I get new ones...it's a never ending cycle.

    I am back on the tools at the moment...people get to see quality workmanship.

    I have tried focusing on the construction and getting other small operation to tackle the breakdowns...I might as well give the customers away.

    Then I keep thinking...maybe I should join another small business and grow from there.

    I wish I had a solution..........

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    I can speak from experience that a business consultants can work.IF you find the right person.I have a family friend that helps us.He is a CA and has a wealth of knowledge.

    I meet with him every 6 months to 1 year and go through the business.If there is a big project coming up at work,I make a trip and go and chat things through.He helps with strategic decisions going forward.I decide if I listen to him or not.

    At the end of the day we are not specialists in all areas.We certainly know how our businesses run and can keep the business going but if I need legal advise I call my lawyer.If I need help with my ISO certification, I call my ISO consultant.

    You can't do everything yourself.

    I have seen the results over the last 10 years.

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    This is the eternal conundrum all of us SE Entrepreneurs face & I agree with all of the others who say there is NO easy answer.
    There are a number of factors that will determine if and when to take on somebody and whatever those factors are, they require careful introspection and very often a 2nd Opinion from a 3rd Party. I am in that trap myself and trying to pluck up the courage to take the financial risk of another vehicle and additional person but putting it off because of the economic climate right now. Its a toss up between take on the risk OR battle on and rather try to maximize productivity through incentivising existing staff. I'm leaning toward the latter but mindful that this may not be the opportunity for all types of business.

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