Growing your business when you are already overwhelmed

Eventually you must face the dilemma: how can you continue your growth when you are so overwhelmed already?

Growing your business when you are already overwhelmed

Invoicing, hiring, quoting, marketing, customers, pricing, managing, rent, software renewal, website update, absences, late payments, not enough customers, too many customers… Sounds familiar? On top of it you have your family, friends, relationships, your own well-being and pastimes.

Overwhelm is synonymous to running a business. “Business” quickly becomes “busy ness”.

When you start your business, your biggest worry is the “make or break” need to find customers to get the business off the ground before it runs out of cash. Once you pass that stage you naturally grow. One happy customer keeps coming back and refers you to others, who in turn become happy customers and keep referring you. 

Providing your service or product is great, this organic growth inevitably happens. Momentum builds, your company is growing – and before you know it, your business is off the ground and you have succeeded in the first stage.

While your company continues to grow, more and more things need to be done until you realise that most of your time is spent supporting your main service rather than the fulfilment itself. It’s then time for you to employ others to help you cope. In the early days every new employee is a large cost added to your monthly outgoings, so you must carefully manage the hiring timing.

Next, you realise your premises are too small (if you have a physical business) or the software you use limits further growth. Your customer base is also growing and so is the variety of sectors you serve. It is very tempting to work with large, well-established customers, but they aren’t necessarily the dream partner you were hoping for. On top of it all, you need to stay on top of your industry’s trends so that you don’t end up being the odd one out.

It’s no wonder that business owners are overwhelmed! The problem is that you must continue to grow. If you don’t, you will start fading. Once your team senses that there is nothing exciting that they can look forward to, they will start considering other, more interesting options, and losing an employee becomes another item on your worry list.

Everyone around you will ask about your growth and the peer pressure is enormous. Without growth shown on your financial reports, it is difficult to seek finance for any necessary investments. Moreover, as a business owner, if you are looking for a mortgage (including personal buy-to-let investments), the bank will expect growth. The bottom line is that your business must grow.

The problem is that you probably are already running on fumes. How long can you continue being the overwhelmed business owner? It’s fine to start with, but it is impossible to maintain it forever. Eventually you must face the dilemma: how can you continue your growth when you are so overwhelmed already? 

Luckily there is a way out of this horrible situation!

Convert  your company setup so that it can operate without you.

This is an epiphany that has changed the lives of many, including me. Once you realise that your company should be treated as a stand-alone organism that works with or without you, you have opened a whole new world of opportunities.

However, any change starts from you, the business owner. You need to think deeply about how to make your company that well-oiled machine without you being the centrepiece. Your company should work like a car: flawlessly, with all systems interacting with each other seamlessly without its designer having to assist with the driving.

This change  requires a whole range of implementations, beginning with you understanding your role as the leader of the organisation. You can no longer be involved in the nitty-gritty of the business.

You need to become a strategic thinker who inspires your employees to make your vision a reality. You need to speak to your team regularly, so that they feel they are part of something more than just a job that provides a living.

You need to introduce a set of values that your whole team will adhere to, even if it means losing money. This is the bond that will allow you to create a thriving and high performing team.

You will also have to elevate your employees and treat them as equal leaders rather than followers. Refrain from micro-managing their every step. It might require a reshuffle and some uncomfortable decisions, but this is part of running a business. 

You need to have up to date and accurate financial reporting that will allow you and your managers to make the right decisions.

Another crucial step might be converting your services into well-defined products that are easy to market and easy to use for your customers and employees. You also need a critical KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that will allow your entire company to instantly and constantly know whether you are on track in hitting your goals.

All this doesn’t happen overnight. It will require even more of your time to start with, but the result is so well worth it! By removing yourself as the bottleneck, you enable your company to continue its growth – and as a byproduct, you will regain more time for yourself!

When starting your business you envisioned freedom, and this process is your gateway to achieving a healthy work-life balance as a business owner.

This article comes courtesy of Stand Back To Grow, business growth and mentoring.

Sponsored Feature
Sponsored Feature

Share via
Copy link