Monday, 5 October 2009

Letting Go

One of the main issues I see with small businesses is the same problem I had myself and that is letting go. This is not an issue with the digestive system but the fact that so many entrepreneurs are also control freaks and just cannot delegate or see the benefit of taking on new staff. They are stuck in a catch 22. "By the time I have told someone else, I could do it myself" or "I can't afford another salary so I do it myself". Both statements could be true but if you don't change the way you work, the business will never grow.

Let's examine the first statement. Handing over routine jobs to staff will motivate them and even if they make mistakes, they should get there in the end. It's difficult but necessary. Assume they will make mistakes and then you can only be pleasantly surprised.

The second statement is the biggest dilemma for most business people but if for example you consider yourself to be the best salesperson in the business, why are you bogging yourself down with accounts, admin, HR etc? You release your time to sell and guess what? You can afford the extra salary and what's more, you will make more money into the bargain. Many of the aforementioned jobs can also be carried out by part timers, homeworkers and contractors.

Finally, if you think you are overloading your staff by passing over work to them, my experience has been that staff can always make themselves look busy but are not often working at capacity.

Cold Calling Using Shoe Leather

It occurred to me recently that with the advent of the internet, email and PDA’s, nobody seems to talk to anyone these days and the thought of  cold calling will make the average salesperson go into shock. It would therefore seem a very good opportunity to beat competitors by having the gumption to walk the streets and actually speak to people face to face. It might even make you stand out from the crowd. I know in my past business, if no enquiries came in, we would literally pick a town and hit it. If nothing else, it gave a fair idea of how the competition were doing because it also doubled as a market survey.