Running a business is one of the ways those of us living the three-business-card life create a secure financial future for ourselves. It’s easier to earn more and create a lifestyle you love when you’re the boss. But as you take a look at the business you’ve created, it’s important to make sure you’re building a business and not just creating a job for yourself.
Creating your own job via self employment is often more fun than working a traditional 9 to 5, but it has many downsides. If you want to earn more, you have to work more. It’s too easy to overwork yourself in the pursuit of your financial goals.
Building a business is a long term, sustainable way to earn more and live the life you want. A business is a set of systems that work even when you aren’t present. Your income can scale beyond the amount of time you personally put in. If you step away from the business, will work continue without you?
Building a business instead of a job is easier said than done, but it’s an important part of creating a long lasting, growing income stream. Here are four essential steps to creating a business instead of a job:
Running a Business with Systems and Procedures
If you want to grow your business beyond the hours that you alone put in, creating systems and procedures to capture work flow is important. You can even create a checklist so someone else can follow your procedure step by step.
As you go through each task to capture a procedure, it might feel tedious to put down all the details. But detailed procedures make it easier to produce a consistent product even when someone else takes over the task. And as a business owner, you might go months between doing a task. Creating procedures for yourself will help you remember exactly what steps need to be done as well.
Let Others Help You By Delegating
Entrepreneurs often have a strong independent streak, and it’s part of the reason they open new businesses in the first place. But if you want to grow your business, you have to learn to not do everything yourself.
Take the time to find the right people you can trust. If you can hand over tasks with minimal involvement and management, you’ll get your time back. You can focus on other tasks while letting people who know what they’re doing help you with the things you’re not so good at doing yourself.
Delegation allows you to focus on the bigger picture so you can find the next opportunity. Let others concentrate on keeping the business running.
Automate So You Never Have to Do It Again
Automation is a powerful tool to help you get more done in less time. There are a ton of repetitive tasks that take place as part of running a business. What can you do to automate a task so you never have to do it again?
Automation can start on a small scale. Make templates for common customer emails, and use a text expander so you can type a few keywords to get an entire email. Write a blog post, but then use software to have the blog post distributed to your email list automatically. Use Quickbooks to automatically pull in your business expenses for your accountant.
Sometimes automation requires more of an investment. Perhaps you need to work with an email automation specialist to personalize your email marketing funnel. You might need to work with a programmer to write reports or create automated scripts for uploading customer data. Making the investment bit by bit is worth it. As you set up automatic processes, things will speed up as your work compounds on itself.
Be a Leader to Help Your Business Grow
As you work to create a business with systems, processes, delegation, and automation, your business will begin to produce without you there every second of the day. You’ll have your time back. But as you step back from the day to day running of the business, your leadership is still needed. Your people will need guidance to head in the right direction. It’s your job to figure out how the business will grow and what you need to change to get it to the next level. No business runs itself. Your business needs you, and your leadership, to steer the course.