How to get control back in your business

by Anna Munhin Jun 4, 2023 News
How to get control back in your business

Rachel is a marketing strategist. She runs seminars around New Zealand.

One of the most common issues small business owners face is figuring out how to grow while still being the person who does all the work.

Adding more support to your business is one way to help it run better, as scaling your business requires freeing up your time to think strategically.

Sarah Greener is an expert in helping small business owners find the time back in their lives for the things they really want to do and learn how to prioritize these over all the other activities that so easily consume them.

The buzz to business, what we can learn from Girls Get Off, and how storytellers can make your business more memorable are some of the topics discussed.

She talked to me about how important it is to identify your critical success factors, how important it is to love the word "No" and how to get away from work that takes you away from your goals.

Carrying over household and parenting habits into businesses is a challenge.

Women carry the mental load of remembering at home and then use that to their advantage in the business. Instead of giving tasks to someone in the team who own it, they prefer to hold on to them in the home and work environments.

Sarah Greener highlighted the challenge of carrying over habits from managing households and parenting into businesses (file photo).
Sarah Greener highlighted the challenge of carrying over habits from managing households and parenting into businesses (file photo).

She stressed the need for separate systems for both areas of life.

Greener said that women often take the way they run a home or raise kids into a business, and we need to change that.

She says that there is a bad habit of holding the cognitive load of parenting all in your head. Systems are not built as a general rule. It is not possible to download it onto paper for another person. You don't delegate help to others. All those habits are dragged into your business and you operate it the same way. No one is working independently from you when you become a mother.

If you don't put a plan and systems in place, it's hard to get help or feel supported

One of the strongest words we can learn to use is no. She used to be proud of saying yes to things that she didn't need to. She missed a lot of time with your child because of it.

She read a book by Tim Ferris that inspired her to say no to everything she was told to do. Greener wasn't positive about it, but he felt liberated.

She said that she still battles with the woman inside her. I feel like I'm able to say no.

Working out where Greener would spend her time was part of the journey. She said what she said was important, but she didn't always show that priority. Setting boundaries and taking care of our time and energy is what Greener teaches.

"When we say we're too busy or don't have time, we're basically saying that person or activity is not important to us right now."

Greener teaches her clients how to identify the key activities that will shift the needle and build success and then confidently make these the priority tasks over everything else. Everything else can be ignored or delegated to someone else.

A limited number of tasks is suggested by Greener. One to three things that really matter are what we look at when talking about critical success factors. If we didn't do them or did them badly, our business wouldn't work.

We can allocate resources effectively if we hone in on the critical factors.

Rachel Klaver says scaling your business requires freeing up your time to think strategically, and often this means adding more support to your business to help it run better.
Rachel Klaver says scaling your business requires freeing up your time to think strategically, and often this means adding more support to your business to help it run better.

As the small business owner works on those three critical success factors, you should stop doing anything. Business owners can give these to their business. To ensure my head space is clear and ready for my clients, to ensure all the content is made for our marketing, and to create systems to help both our team and my clients are some of the things I like to do.

We need to learn to download our knowledge, actions and systems in order to help other people run the business or our lives smoothly.

Establishing systems is important for business efficiency. This isn't the same as buying a software programme. It is important to write down systems and document processes before looking for new software to fix the problem. When we ignore this, we end up in a place where we messed it all up, and then we want someone to execute the plan.

The importance of outsourcing tasks is emphasized by Greener.

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Think about how much work someone else could do for you. If we can make more money an hour than we'd be paying someone else to do the work, then that's how much money we are losing every year in potential sales and growth of our business by doing that work instead

It is important for you to have time and energy for yourself. Greener talked about her journey of working long hours. This approach had a negative impact on her relationship with her child.

She said, "My journey was to work really hard to get success, and so I was working 60 hours a good week, but 100 hours was also common for me." The things that mattered to me didn't go well.

Greener encourages us to take care of ourselves and maintain healthy relationships.

Sometimes the first outsourcing tip can be to get help at home. Maybe it's a food bag service or a laundry pick up. Maybe you'll get a cleaner. Sharing the load is something she suggests talking about with partners and children.

Whoever is carrying the mental load for the task also makes sure the task gets done.

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The person who does the shopping should be the one who is planning the menu. If you own certain areas, you can get rid of the load from the other person.

One of the reasons Greener works with women is that she helps women run businesses that are more profitable. Statistics from the States are cited by her.

Only 12% of our woman-owned businesses will ever make more than 100,000 dollars in revenue. A small percentage of us will make more than a million dollars. As she has helped her clients reduce the mental load, she has learned to put boundaries in to protect priorities and created systems that allow her business owner clients to outsourcing, their business growth results dramatically improve.

She says that businesses owned by women earn less than businesses owned by men.

If you have a teen texting you saying "We've run out of milk" and you feel like you need to fix it for them, there's a sign that you need to reduce your mental load."

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If you're ready to feel more in control at home and in the business space, Greener suggests you start with the following.

  1. Write everything you are doing down on paper. If you want it can be one big massive brain dump or ordered into different areas of your life and work.
  2. Work out what’s a do-or-die task (there will be very few of these)
  3. Circle anything you could stop doing that you are only doing because you feel you “should” be doing. (For me this was cleaning and my laundry. Now I outsource!)
  4. Remove anything you can from that list, so you have time to take a breath
  5. Find the biggest bug bear in the list that takes a huge amount of your time and energy and work out what can be systemised, what can be supported by others and what you can let go of completely
  6. Then go do that.

To stay focused on the end goal, keep asking yourself what you want your life and business to look like ten years from now. Right now, what should I be focused on to get there?