I gained a new client a couple of days ago, who was in a panic because he just can’t cope anymore with the amount of work he has to do. In the past six months he has gained more clients than he planned for and this has left him with no time to fulfill all of the tasks that need taking care of on a daily basis.
My job as his consultant is to come up with a strategy for him that will work for the here and now, because of his immediate challenge, but also to work on a long term plan for him.
A couple of ideas I want to share with you today are listed below because I would like you to be aware that this can happen to any business owner, once they become so busy with new clients and work is beginning to overwhelm them:
- Include in your business plan how many clients you need to acquire in your first year. Be careful you don’t over extend yourself because it is easy to lose focus and if your clients are unhappy they may go elsewhere.
- Plan a short term strategy so that you know what tasks you have to take care of on a daily basis. Mark your calendar with all the work you take care off so that you don’t fall behind.
- Plan a long term strategy including which tasks you need to outsource and a date when this should happen. Decide how much of your budget you have available to pay someone to do the work. There are government funded programs out there that may apply to you and help you with the financial side of outsourcing.
The above simple ideas are the tip of the iceberg but give you an idea where to start. Planning ahead is essential with any business, and projecting short and long term figures, dates, times and your business growth, really helps you see the bigger picture. Don’t wake up one morning and panic because you can’t cope anymore, planning ahead is the sensible thing to do.
It’s much easier to plan ahead than to have the situation where you just can’t cope any more. Excuses can come easily, such as I don’t have the time to plan, or I just have too much work. If you are in the position where the time has come to think about hiring someone, don’t panic. Even if you have left it too late to plan now is the time for action.
The first step is to stop stressing, and once you feel calm realise that you have to take care of your clients first, and in the evening, or the weekend, ask for referrals from your trusted connections so that you can find someone to do the work you want to outsource relatively quickly.
You will have to train the person you decide to hire, whether it’s relative to your accounting system, your data base, marketing, whatever it is you have your own way you like things done. On the other hand if the person you hire has a much more up to date method listen to what they have to share with you before dismissing their ideas.
When looking to hire someone be sure they understand your business, what kind of clients you deal with and of course the exact expectation you have from them if you hire them. Everything should be in writing, because word of mouth communication is not always as clear as it should be. The hours you want your new hire to work, whether they will work from your office or their home, it’s the tiny details that should be made clear before you decide to hire anyone.
Obviously references are essential, so ask for at least two, and make sure you do receive an answer from the person or organization offered as a reference.
It can be a challenge when looking to hire someone, but persevere, it will work out and you will have more time to concentrate on the things you do best.
As ever I love hearing your thoughts on the topics I write about so keep those emails coming and I look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to leave your comments here if you prefer, that way everyone can read your excellent ideas as well as mine.