Ask any entrepreneur about how their company began and you will hear the passion in their voice as they tell you their business’ origin story. Here is an entity you created on your own: from ideation to developing a vision and mission, to proof of concept.
And if you dedicate yourself to developing your company, it won’t be long until you find yourself so busy, that you begin to worry something might fall through the cracks. You can’t afford to disappoint a customer, so the workload has taken over your life.
As much as the business was all yours, it’s time to plan on building a team. Some business owners have a hard time giving up control, convinced they’re the only one who can make it work. That’s a dangerous thought. Soon you find yourself missing out on a full night’s sleep. You’re hurriedly eating meals over the computer. And sadly, your family doesn’t get as much attention from you as they need.
Your physical and mental health is suffering from being overbooked and stressed. Your health is tied to the success of your business, so letting yourself get run down is not an option. Transitioning from being a solo entrepreneur to building a team is not “giving up control” – it’s a critical step in the growth and sustainability of your business.
Don’t think you’re there yet? Here are some signs that tell you it’s time to make that transition:
- Increasing Workload: If you find yourself consistently overwhelmed with the growing amount of work and struggling to meet deadlines or fulfill customer demands on your own, it's a clear indication that you need additional resources. A partner, an admin, or an employee will require training at first but ultimately will reduce the workload, allowing you to focus on core business activities.
- Lack of Expertise: Any business demands a variety of tasks be completed, and no one has expertise in all of them. Bookkeeping and marketing are different as night and day. Keep whatever you’re great at, and let the other tasks be handled by an expert. Should you be spending your time learning a new social media channel or drafting a legal contract or reconciling your bank accounts or customizing your new CRM system? If you’re not already an expert in the task, bringing in people who possess these skills can be a game-changer.
- Large Projects: What happens when a potential client proposes a large-scale project that’s right in your area of expertise? You’d love to take it on, but it’s impossible to bring it to completion alone. If you have identified significant growth opportunities for your business but lack the resources or capacity to pursue them alone, it's a good time to consider building a team.
- Increasing Customer Base: When you take on more new customers than any one person can handle on their own in a timely manner, it's time to hire team members. With your training, they can take care of processing customer inquiries, managing relationships, and delivering excellent customer service. This goes a long way toward retaining loyal customers.
- Bottlenecks: It’s a polite way of stating that nothing moves forward until you handle and approve each task. Your mistrust of outside resources slows everything down, and you’re not seeing the situation from your customer’s point of view. You’re getting in the way of progress, and that’s not why you created this business. Offloading tasks to others that you have personally trained allows you to focus on strategic decision-making and business development.
- Opportunity Cost: If you spend a significant portion of your day on tasks that can be delegated to others, you may be missing out on more valuable and higher-impact activities that only you can handle. Building a team can free up your time to focus on activities that require your unique skills and expertise.
Transitioning from a solo entrepreneur to building a team takes time, and requires careful planning, selecting the best-fit people, training them in your proprietary process, and a healthy willingness to delegate. It’s a giant step in your business development and best approached with help. Don’t wait until you start losing customers or becoming ill to make this transition. Reach out to me and let’s discuss how we can make this happen together.