Entrepreneurship is an all-consuming occupation. It requires ridiculous amounts of time, patience, determination, and hard work. Even with the strictest of dedication, business owners often-times find themselves teetering toward the edge of burnout. Here's some tips for successful entrepreneurs to avoid the abyss:
You simply cannot be everywhere at once. You can't possibly complete every single task. You need to build a team around you that can help pick up any slack. Start by creating a list of tasks that you can assign to others. Here's some ideas to get you going:
- Web design.
- Customer service.
- Administrative tasks.
- Data entry.
- Email management.
While it's vital that entrepreneurs learn the art of delegation, it is possible to become too disengaged with your company. This will ultimately cause the business to start spiraling out of control and future burn out of both you and your staff. Make sure to find your sweet spot between assigning tasks and maintaining some responsbilities.
The balance between proper delegation and over-delegation is a fine one. Over-delegation leaves your staff feeling overburdened and they'll eventually leave for greener pastures. Here's four reasons an entrepreneur might over-delegate:
- Their own inadequate knowledge or experience.
- Lack of motivation.
03. Plug Gaps
This goes hand-in-hand with delegating. Plugging a gap means acknowledging your strengths as well as understanding your weaknesses. Here's an example:
Out of your current staff, there isn't a single person who knows anything about marketing. You also currently have an open position for a part-time administrative assistant and have received an applicant's resume who has marketing skills. At this time you determine your budget allows you to bring this person on full-time with dedicated marketing hours. This is plugging the gap. You get some marketing expertise, while your new hire uses their individual strengths. It's a win-win.
04. Outsource What You Can
Once you've decided your teams' core competencies, identify where you're still weak. These are the areas you should consider outsourcing. Is your bookkeeping consuming too much of your time? Is it a daily struggle you put off because you're not naturally good at it? Maybe it's time to consider outsourcing this function. There's outsourcing companies out there in every imaginable specilaty: accounting, payroll, human resources, etc., and they're great options to prevent you from burnout.
05. Rent a CFO
You delegated the tasks you can. You discovered your teams' weakness is bookkeeping so you outsourced that business function. You plugged your marketing gap. Up until this point, you've negotiated the company's contracts yourself and made financial forecasts. But you're on the verge of burning out, stressed over being pulled a million directions at once. This is where a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) comes in handy. They're in charge of your financial department and free you up to focus on running your business.
"One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is they don't realize they need the sophistication of a CFO." -Bradford Hall
You can now actually "rent" a CFO who will manage your company's finances, generally once a week or on a part-time basis. This can be a cost-saving option compared to hiring a CFO in-house, or managing the finances yourself, and helps prevent the inevitable entrepreneur crash and burn.
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