Growing a business is not easy. At first, you will have the zeal and enthusiasm to get your business going. In the first few months or years, you would want to handle the projects on your own. As an entrepreneur, it is but natural for you to get excited without knowing how much energy it will drain from you. As more projects come in, only then will you realize that you are exerting too much effort on the work. This is when exhaustion and feeling of being overloaded comes in.
If you’re starting or growing your own business, you’ve probably felt overloaded at some point. If you have some employees, you develop the tendency to pass some of the load to your people by having them do double duty or have them cover long hours. As work becomes overwhelming, you start to slow down and lose your focus. It can be hard to make progress when you are exhausted or stressed. The good news is that there are some ways you can overcome and ease some of the pressure from your shoulders. Here are some 4 steps that can help you gain more freedom from entrepreneur overload.
Streamlining your business involves improving efficiency and effectiveness of your system. Streamlining is most effective for repetitive tasks such as:
- New customer intake process
- Testing and monitoring of marketing campaigns
- Bookkeeping and taxes
- Invoicing and accounting
- Social media campaigns
To streamline your business, follow the 80/20 rule. You can identify 20% of the tasks that are most productive. Once you have identified them, systematize these tasks. Develop systems, worksheets, and schedules that can help improve the workflow for these tasks. The bottom line is to make your processes simple and transparent.
According to productivity expert Carson Tate, organizations fail because they have the assumption that users stay on task for the same reason, which is not the case. As an entrepreneur, you should utilize all the available online automation tools. Automation is simply about having a machine do the work for you. Nowadays there are a lot of productivity tools and software application that you can capitalize on to make workload more efficient.
As an entrepreneur, you need to weed out the extraneous and from the unnecessary tasks. If the job will not contribute to getting a measurable result, eliminate that task. As Matt Dolson puts it, “The single best way to streamline a business is to eliminate unnecessary business processes. If you eliminate something, you don’t need a machine to do it, and you don’t need a person to do it.” So how do you know which task to eliminate? Ask the following questions:
- Is this task really moving my business forward?
- Is each step in the process necessary?
- Can some of the steps be automated to free up time?
- Is this step a bottleneck?
- Are we waiting too long for this step to complete and why?
By eliminating repetitive or low value tasks, you move one step closer to getting your desired results.
One of the reasons for overload is that you try to do every task on your own. As a result, you do not become effective. You can consider outsourcing some of the non-core tasks so you can focus on the more important core competencies. For instance, you can let other people do the customer service and administrative tasks. This way, you can focus on the operational aspects and core tasks of your business. Focus on what you are good at, focus on your strengths. Who could do it faster, better, more efficiently? Do you already have someone in place to whom you can delegate such work – or do you need to outsource, or employ someone?
There is a common belief that hard work will drive more results. This is actually not true. When managing your business, it should be “effectiveness over efficiency.” You may be efficient in the performance of the tasks but that will mean nothing if you are not getting the results that you desire. The key to your success lies on being systematic.
Overloading yourself with work can become an obstacle to your success as an entrepreneur. Use the feeling of entrepreneur overload as a reminder that you need to pause, become systematic, and stay organized. airisX helps companies grow and scale intelligently.
Bonus 5th step: Measure everything. “That which is measured, improves.”