Look at you go! You have come so far, yet there is still so much work to do.
This next crucial step will be the deciding factor in determining whether your business fails or succeeds. For many people, this final step is the hardest of all because it requires giving up that one precious illusion.
We have spent the last 4 chapters digging in deep to what is required to build your online business. You have been in the trenches, you are working hard and essentially doing every job yourself. In the beginning, this is certainly required. The next step is to get out of the way.
Once the foundation is built it is essential that you begin to replace yourself. The importance of this can not be understated. It’s time to stop working in your business and start working on your business!
You Can’t Do Every Job in the Company
That’s just a fact. As your business grows, it’s not sustainable to think that you can manage every job title. Let’s look at an example.
Let’s imagine you have started a tee shirt line. In the beginning, you may have to create the designs in Photoshop, you will need to order the garments and order the print job. Once the shirts actually come in you have to take pictures and market your product. Once you started making sales you have to package and ship the tee shirts. On top of everything, you have to manage customer service and deal with the issues that pop up with every tee shirt line. There is always someone who wants to return a shirt because it is not the right size. That’s the nature of the business. You are just getting started so you do what you have to do.
In that one paragraph, I just listed several departments.
- Content creation
- Social media marketing
- Shipping and customer service.
As your business grows, it’s just not feasible that you can handle all of these responsibilities on your own. That is, not if you want to grow your business at scale. (Remember that freedom of lifestyle we’ve been talking about?)
The problem is that you believe “no one else can do this the way you want it to be done.”
You’re going to have to get over that.
Putting together procedures and documentation teaching your new employees how to properly handle an assignment is part of being the boss. If you care about your customers, then you need to assign people to handle tasks.
Knowing What You’re Job Really Is
You are not doing yourself any favors by trying to be the “jack of all trades.” Your job as the business owner is to grow the business. That is your only job. Staying on the outside and hiring staff to handle the day to day operations is all a means to an end.
The end goal is for you to be completely independent of the day to day operations and work on the bigger picture.
What does the bigger picture entail?
- Bringing in new sales
- Building teams and hiring new employees
- Creating documentation so new employees can easily learn what to do
- Monitoring your marketing and the results on that marketing
- Staying up to date on real-time accounting metrics
The list truly goes on and on. What separates the real business operator from the mom and pop business is the allocation of responsibilities.
The business owner needs to maintain a safe distance from the day to day so they can focus on growing the business.
Without this mentality, you are doomed to fail.
Understanding That You May Not Be the Best Person for the Job
Everyone has skills. As we said before when first building your business you need to be able to do every job in the company. But that doesn’t mean you are ultimately the best person for every job.
Speaking from my own experience, the first responsibilities I always push onto someone else is accounting. No matter how much I practice, there will always be people who are better at accounting then I am. I rely on these people to direct me and guide me.
This guidance allows me the time to allocate my time on growing the business. That is what I am best at. There is no reason why I should spend my time doing accounting when I am definitely not the best person for the job.
This type of self-awareness can be humbling. It is not easy to give away control of something that you are so passionate about. It is simply a matter of priorities. Is your biggest priority to be the accountant? or is your biggest priority to grow and operate your business? The answer to this question should be obvious.
Learning How to Trust the Process
There is no doubt that replacing yourself can be a stressful process. Entrusting someone with such important work can cause a lot of anxiety. As the business owner, the responsibility falls on you to make sure procedures and protocol for each position are laid out in detail.
If you hire an accountant, it is your job as the business owner to explain in detail exactly what is expected of the accountant. Which kind of reports are important to your business? What are the dollars that need to be tracked with the most accuracy?
Bringing a new employee in does not mean throwing that person to the wolves. If an employee is not clear on what their responsibilities are, that’s your fault. Part of accepting the role as the business owner is accepting blame for everything.
Before you hire an employee, you need to create employee handbooks that simply explain what those job responsibilities are. It is dry and tedious work, but the upfront labor of creating these systems is the key to freeing up your time in the future.
Creating handbooks for employees to use as a reference could be the deciding factor on where your time is spent. Remember, time is your most valuable resource. Treat it as you would with your business capital. In fact, treat it with even more care than your capital because time is the only resource that we can never get back.
Now Get To Work!
You have gotten through the entire boot camp. The sky’s the limit. If you follow these steps, you will succeed.
Nothing replaces hard work and perseverance. Every business goes through obstacles and keeping composure in high-pressure situations is a requirement of any business owner.
There will never be a replacement for hard work. However, the technical steps required to build and operate a profitable online business have been laid out in detail in this guide. Feel free to refer back to it if you ever get off track.