Jonathan Avery of Broadmeadows, Victoria asks:
Dizzy spells on my way
home from work led to a hospital visit and 9 days off work. On my
return, I was shocked at the consequences of my absence. Quality
standards I oversee dropped. Deadlines for a marketing launch were
missed because I couldn’t sign-off. $37,000 in forward sales I’d
developed evaporated. No-one covered for me to collect receivables. It’s
pretty sad when, after 5 years in business, I can’t even be ill without
my company falling apart like this. I need to make my small business
independent of me. How?
Kenelm Tonkin, Chairman, Tonkin Corporation answers.
Devolve your responsibilities until your labour is not required. It’s a 9 step process as follows:
Step 1. Write a list of all tasks performed in your company. Be as detailed as possible. Don’t forget the small things everyone does.
Step 2. Now create job titles for each role employed in your company.
Step 3. Move the tasks created in Step 1 underneath the job
titles you listed in Step 2, reflecting who’s doing what currently in
Step 4. Review the result. Many entrepreneurs discover their
role is bloated with tasks. This often happens because many business
owners are perfectionists, haven’t learned the art of delegation or
simply don’t trust employees to do the job properly.
Step 5. Of the tasks under your job title, highlight the five you least prefer to do in red.
Step 6. Move the red tasks to other job titles as
appropriate, bearing in mind that your employees can’t be overloaded and
the limits of your own cash flow to recruit new people to take on your
Step 7. Concentrate for a month on doing your remaining, more enjoyable tasks better and building your cash flow.
Step 8. Repeat Steps 5 to 7 until you have no tasks to
perform other than (a) recruiting, training, monitoring and replacing an
employed managing director, and (b) attending monthly board meetings.
When you reach this point, change your job title to non-executive
Step 9. Spend as much time as necessary at the hospital or,
better, take a well-earned holiday comfortable in the knowledge your
business produces a healthy profit without your labour. Congratulations!