Do you run your business or does it run you?

Owners quite rightly feel passionate about their businesses and feel they know it better than everyone else, which can lead them to believe they have to be an expert in every aspect of the business.

But is this an effective use of their time?

Being an expert at everything can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed and swamped especially when one person has to make all the decisions.

No matter how the business is doing, whether growing rapidly or facing challenges such as having to constantly juggle cash, the feeling of being overwhelmed can lead to indecision and an inability to focus on important matters rather than demands on a director’s time.

It can also mean that the business leader or owner is unable to prioritise what really needs to be under their direct control and what really should be delegated to managers or even outsourced.

Understandably, most of us find a way of putting off those things we don’t want to deal with. The key for every owner is to know him/herself, to know what they are good at and what they are not good at, as well as what they want to do and what they don’t want to do.

This is more important than time management or being organised, it is about people management and self management – delegation, personal discipline and saying “no”.

The time spent becoming an expert at everything cannot be justified because the owner will end up doing nothing. No one person can prepare the accounts, deal with payroll, develop a marketing strategy, do the selling, build the website, do the search engine optimisation, manage the social media marketing campaign, build a database, be the HR expert, collect in debts, be the IT expert, deal with debt collection, buy the stationery, draft contracts, deal with the landlord, deliver goods, repair machinery, etc, etc. And yet so many business owners do all this and more.

I would argue that an owner’s time is best spent on finding other people who are better than them for each aspect of the business and then supporting them. Over time trust should be established to the point where others are left to get on with their job leaving the owner to focus on what’s important, or at least what they want to do.

To run a business efficiently it necessary for you to ensure that it doesn’t run you by getting others to run it for you.

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