You start a business with the intention of creating a nest egg and doing things you love. You have the motivation and momentum, but you are often consumed by paper work, managing cash flows, marketing, training new staff – the list is endless. Running a business is like wearing many hats, with lots of different work responsibilities often making you feel overwhelmed.
Are you having trouble staying on top of things in your business?
In this blog, we share a business functionality blueprint to free up some of your time so you can get out there and do the things you want to be doing – and achieve the balancing act of wearing many hats without losing your head!
Our solution: embedding a functionality structure into your business. Read it, post it and tweak it to fit your needs – this guide will help you create a functionality framework so you can wear many hats – with ease.
- Identify Every Task in the Business
Let the task identify its owner. In other words, don’t stress yourself by doing all the tasks. Ask yourself and your team to identify all the hats they are wearing. It is easy to see how one task assigned to one person can be dependent on the output of another, thus creating a sequence of tasks. In our practice, we often make use of post-it notes to list down all tasks identified. These make it easier for us categorise them later on into groups.
Often you will discover that some tasks are being covered by more than one person and there will also be tasks that no one is really in charge of.
- Group Similar Tasks Together
Once all the tasks have been identified, group together similar tasks. By grouping these tasks together, you will be able to see a clearer picture of how different sequences work in your business.
Give each group a name in terms of functional areas e.g. business administration, marketing, business planning and so on. This way it will become more evident which task group belongs to each of the 3 functional areas as shown below:
Above is an illustration of grouping identified tasks based on functionality.
- Categorise Each Group Into 3 Main Functional Areas
After grouping the tasks together, it will become more evident which task group belongs in each functional area. We call these areas:
- Business Management – includes tasks that focus on future $
- Business Operations – includes tasks that focus on present $
- Business Support – includes tasks that have nil $ value, but are essential to your business.
- Assign People to Each Functional Area
Assign each of your people to the three functional areas. For a small business, you might see yourself handling several areas. As the business grows, you will need to reallocate specific roles so your team can take over some of these areas to free up your time so you can grow the business.
- Document and communicate it to the team
Document and communicate your business functionality chart to your people. Let your people know their responsibilities and set clear expectations. This allows them to deliver what you expect of them in their work performance, without you constantly monitoring their progress.
Many business owners prefer to have control over every aspect of their business, but this can result in the business becoming completely reliant on the owner. If you have employees in your business, delegate and make them accountable for the tasks assigned to them. Delegating the management responsibilities to your staff will give you more flexibility and make your business less reliant on you.
Revisit your business functionality chart every so often and refine it if necessary. It is the key to balancing the multiple hats you are wearing in your business, thereby giving you more time to do the things you love.
Your turn: Tell us how you manage your personal and business responsibilities? Are you currently in that position, wondering if your business can run the way you want it to when you’re on holiday? Based on the guide above, do you have any new insights?
Looking forward to hearing your challenges and stories through the comments below.