1. Sack yourself
Owners are without doubt the biggest critical success factor of their business. Ironically, they are often also the biggest barrier holding the business back from growing.
They often have the best intentions; they figure that through sheer force of will they can get the business booming. And no one knows the business better, or cares more, than they do.
Of course, the universal laws of physics mean you only have 24 hours in a day, and can’t be in two places at once. Your output is finite: it’s only when you step back and bring others in that you’ll be able to progress.
And building a great team is one of the most important jobs of an owner.
Some owners can’t accept that another person could do what they do better, or care more. But there are many advantages to building a team rather than trying to do it alone: namely the ability to leverage other people’s time, and to bring in other skills and experience to help the business grow and develop.
And having a great team frees you up to operate in your genius, where your efforts yield maximum results.
2. Process makes perfect
If your people are mission critical, giving them clearly defined processes to follow is the next step to help make more money with less effort.
In addition to training and mentoring, processes will ensure you can work less in your business and work more strategically on improving its efficiency and profitability. Most employees want to succeed, and be a part of something successful: it’s your job to give them the tools, resources and opportunities they need to succeed.
3. Focus on your financials last
This will get me kicked out of the Accountant’s Ball (but as you can imagine, that’s not such a bad thing) but I tell my clients to focus on their financials last.
Not that they’re not important – but they are by-products of other key areas that are within your control: namely your people, your processes and your customers. Get these right, and the dollars should follow.
Of course, a budget and cash flow plan will help, particularly with your planning; but it’s important to realise that understanding the money doesn’t drive success.
4. Evolve or dissolve
Call me old-fashioned (my teenage boys do), but there seems to be amazing technology tools appearing practically daily that can yield incredible efficiency and productivity gains or cost benefits. So much so, it can be daunting to keep up. But if you can focus on a few key tools, you can really leverage the efficiency and profitability gains that technology provides.
One example is cloud-based accounting tools like Shoeboxed that make it easy to manage your own record keeping and invoicing. The real benefit is you can now transform your relationship with your accountant: instead of a bean-counter, they can become a business adviser and add significant value to help you grow your business and profits.
Or you can bundle services to cut down on costs and further streamline operations. Bundles like Telstra’s Digital Office Technology (DOT)™ consolidate mobile phones, internet and landlines onto one bill which can cut down on the time spent on admin and increase how much visibility you have on your communications technology.