It’s a big decision to commit to growing your business, one that involves careful planning. You need to set specific growth targets, seek out financing, and expand your team’s skill set. At some point, it will feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s because there aren’t!
To gain back precious hours, you need to delegate tasks and standardize your business processes so they are repeatable and scalable.
An influential study on scaling up businesses conducted by the business schools at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford concluded that “managing the operations by hands-on involvement of founders will eventually limit growth.” In other words, you need to pass certain things off so you can concentrate on pushing your business forward.
Create Protocols and Delegate
What is your protocol when you land a new client? How do you ensure they are on-boarded into your accounting software and receive a contract? How do you conduct performance evaluations for your staff? What is the first step you take when weather causes a delay in a project? When and how do you express employee appreciation?
Some of these things live in your head. You mentally shuffle around project schedules when there is a week of heavy rain or you ask your bookkeeper to add a new client when you run into them in the hall. If these protocols live in your head or happen ad hoc, you can’t pass them off to other members of your team in order to free up your time and mental space to concentrate on growth.
Keep a notebook on your desk and, as you work, jot down all the regular processes you go through. After a month or so, you will have a list of all the protocols you need to codify as you start passing off tasks.
Invest in Good Tech
Anita Campbell of Score councils, “Technology makes it easier and less expensive to scale a business. You can gain huge economies of scale and more throughput, with less labor, if you invest wisely in technology.”
Good tech allows you to create and automate processes, as well as facilitates delegation. You can do all three with Qfactor for Land Surveyors without significant disruption because it works with the programs you already use. For example, once you change the status of a proposal to won, it automatically queries title companies, migrates necessary data into QuickBooks, creates maps, and sets up time tracking systems. It also sends drawing to clients when their invoice is marked as paid. You won’t have to check in with staff to see if they’ve done what you asked, because, with Qfactor, you know it’s already done.
As a project progresses, you can access all the information you need about its progress from Qfactor’s interface, as well as get a good overall picture of where you stand in terms of proposals out, projects underway, and projects billed. It takes the guess-work out of many of the strategic decisions you make during the growth process. Finally, Qfactor allows you to assign tasks and set up automatic reminders and alerts, making delegation easy.
According to Neil Patel of Inc, “Scalability is a mindset.” In order to take on the scalability mindset, you need the right tools to help you focus less on the daily tasks of running your business and more on seeing the big picture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fred Dyste is the CEO of BizWatt and the lead developer of its flagship software, Qfactor. Fred has over 30 years of experience working with startups and early stage companies. Over the past 10-years he’s worked with solar and fiber optic companies resolving project budget and profitability issues. He knew there had to a better way to achieve these results so he created Qfactor.
He also made a living swinging a hammer; able to work trades from form to finish. Have a question for Fred?