3 Steps To a Stress Free Business
Most small business owners dream of a stress free business. Does the following scenario sound familiar?
You started or bought your business to achieve personal goals and live a better life. You wanted more freedom and to leave a legacy. Sounds great. You had a dream, it was pure excitement and energy. However, after some time reality sets in and it becomes work—hard work with long hours. Additionally, sales are not growing as fast, profits are stuck. There is staff turnover and more and more of the day is spent fighting fires.
At this point stress starts to increase. What worked in the past is no longer working. You know things need to change. You have some great ideas but not sure which is the right one or even what the first steps are.
In most cases the root cause of stress in business is the lack of clear direction, lack of operating systems for the team to follow and ineffective communication. A business should be able to run smoothly without the daily, weekly or even monthly intervention of the owner. A business that achieves this can become a stress free business for the owner.
There are three distinctive steps to building a stress free business. Think of the acronym “VEA”—Vision, Empower, Achieve. Here is a brief description of each.
First of all, a business without clear short and long term goals has no direction. If your team isn’t sure what they working towards they will not be able to make effective decisions to keep your business on course.
To set the long term direction every business should have defined Vision, Mission and Value statements, a clear Strategic Plan and have communicated them to all stakeholders. To create an action plan to achieve the long term goals, you should write a detailed business plan. An effective business plan should define the market and need it is serving, have a clear marketing plan, operational plan and financial and cash flow projection with milestone timelines to monitor progress.
Furthermore, everybody in the organization should be working towards the company vision and goals everyday.
With a clear direction set for the organization the next step is to get your business ready to grow profitably and systematically.
Most businesses have the following components: Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Administration, Operating Systems, Financial Systems, Succession Plan, Human Resources, Leadership.
Evaluate all parts of the business to ensure that you have proper operating procedures in place. Train all team members on your systems. A business is as good as its weakest link so be sure to evaluate and correct all areas of your business.
If you would like conduct an assessment of your business I have a 40 Point Business Effectiveness Evaluation that will provide guidance on exactly what you need to assess in each area of the business. Just call me at 604.374.5934 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to send it to you for free.
Now armed with a clear direction and the business ready and able to handle new challenges it’s time to put the plan into action. This is where the rubber hits the road. Delegate the tasks required to a achieve your goals. Be sure everyone is accountable for the end result of their tasks. And then monitor and adjust as necessary.
Be sure to have Key Productivity Indicators (KPIs) for every area of the business. This will serve as your “dashboard” to monitor what happening in your business. If a KPI doesn’t look right take correction action. Don’t wait and stress over it.
Finally, the key to having a stress free business is to let your team run and be accountable for the systems with your role focusing on long term direction and monitoring the system, not running it. Remember to think of “VEA” and get my free 40 point Business Effectiveness Evaluation to start removing stress today.