Business owners are often pushed by us to think bigger and bolder. However we had a Planning Day this
week where we had to push a business owner to think smaller, much smaller – that is, about a smaller number of working hours.
Our Planning Day was with a business owner who runs a financially successful business, but the reality
was the financial success was coming at a cost to his time and enjoyment. It was getting harder to do
the basketball coaching he loved, his holidays were only a week or two at best, and there was really no
time to do the fun stuff in his business anymore.
Are you thinking small enough?
By analysing a breakdown of his activities we began to identify the problem areas and the tasks
that were chewing up his time. We then set a challenge… “If you only had 4 hours a week to run
this business, what would you spend that time on?”
That one exercise shone some light on what was really important to keep this business performing.
Some of the big time suckers were really not needing to be done by him at all. In fact, it was probably
only habits and fear of letting go that kept him holding on to jobs that should have been done by others
in his team. By focussing on the processes, tools, training and systems that would enable things to be
done efficiently, and done right, the first time through there would be no need to expensively throw more
staff at the problem, and the right reporting and tracking tools would ensure any risk was minimised.
This solution was all about systems, people and culture change. It was also a classic example of the “monkey bar theory” which is about being prepared to let go of your safe grasp in order to allow swinging forward.
Could you do with some help to think smaller in your business?