The Operations Toolbox for Business Leaders

Building Capacity: From Overworked Solopreneur to Strategic Business Leader

March 05, 2024 Tonya D. Episode 17
Building Capacity: From Overworked Solopreneur to Strategic Business Leader
The Operations Toolbox for Business Leaders
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The Operations Toolbox for Business Leaders
Building Capacity: From Overworked Solopreneur to Strategic Business Leader
Mar 05, 2024 Episode 17
Tonya D.

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Feeling overwhelmed by the entrepreneurial grind? It's time to make your business work for you, not against you. I'm Tonya D. Harrison, and in my latest podcast, I tackle the beast of burnout head-on, guiding you through the signals that scream it's time to scale up your operations. 

By the end of our session, not only will your self-care stop taking a backseat, but you'll also break free from the treacherous feast-famine cycle that keeps you up worrying at night.

Transform your crushing to-do list into a triumph of efficiency with three strategies I've honed to perfection. Join me and reshape your business landscape into one that not only thrives but also restores balance to your life, one task at a time.

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Feeling overwhelmed by the entrepreneurial grind? It's time to make your business work for you, not against you. I'm Tonya D. Harrison, and in my latest podcast, I tackle the beast of burnout head-on, guiding you through the signals that scream it's time to scale up your operations. 

By the end of our session, not only will your self-care stop taking a backseat, but you'll also break free from the treacherous feast-famine cycle that keeps you up worrying at night.

Transform your crushing to-do list into a triumph of efficiency with three strategies I've honed to perfection. Join me and reshape your business landscape into one that not only thrives but also restores balance to your life, one task at a time.

Speaker 1:

Do you feel like you have more tasks than time? If your to-do list is long and sometimes unruly, then listen closely. In today's episode, I'm going to share with you three powerful ways to build capacity in your small business and get more done. Welcome to the Operations Toolbox Podcast, your host, tanya D Harrison. Let's create version 2.0 of your business, and this is the version that we like to call growth without burnout. So let's get started.

Speaker 1:

Building capacity is essential to small businesses looking to expand, increase efficiency and handle growth effectively. As a solopreneur, you already know you're balancing multiple priorities, multiple responsibilities. Balancing from managing customers to marketing, to handling finances and legal obligations, all while delivering quality products and services. In order to grow and continue meeting or exceeding the customer's needs, you will need to build capacity, and today I am going to share three ways to build capacity in your small business without burning yourself out. But first, how do you know if you need to build capacity within your business? How do you know if it's even time? Well, here's a couple of different ways that you can know. So these are some telltale signs that I've identified in myself and I identified in clients that I work with.

Speaker 1:

The number one thing that I noticed and this was specifically in my business and for me is you're not taking care of yourself. That's the number one thing. This was an eye-opener for me. Self-care is a must. First, you're skipping a week right, okay, I'll do something for myself another time and before you know it, months have gone by and your self-care routine has fallen to the wayside because you are spending extra hours in your business. This is extremely dangerous for a lot of reasons. We have to make ourselves a priority. You have to be on your priority list. So this was the number one sign for me. Number two you're working long hours without seeing results, so you start to put more and more hours in your business, thinking that you're going to get more out. This is usually a sign that you are probably just tired and burnt out. Number three your missing deadlines or critical tasks aren't getting done, and this is because you just have too many things that you're trying to do. So we go back to multiple responsibilities and multiple priorities. You have all of these things and things aren't getting done, and the important things that need to get done are not getting done. Number four one more project. If you take on one more project or one more thing, you are going to burst at the scenes. That is clear, like I cannot take on another thing. If that's the case, you know it's time.

Speaker 1:

Number five you don't have the time to market for new business. Every time you get a client, you are going, working hard, fulfilling your obligation towards a client, but you don't have time to continue marketing, and this is dangerous because it puts us in that feast famine mode. We get a client, we're working on that client, we're not doing any marketing. You finish with that client. Now where's your next client? You haven't been marketing. This is another sign. Those are five ways that you can tell that it may be time for you to build capacity. So now, okay, you know that it's time for you to build capacity, right. So you got that. I fall in one of those categories, or another one that I know means it's time for me to build capacity. Now what? Right, now that you know the signs, let's talk about three ways to build capacity.

Speaker 1:

The very first thing that I recommend all leaders and I'm talking about corporate or business leaders the very first thing I recommend you do is to perform a time study. A time study is where you're going to document what you do on a daily basis and how long each task takes to complete. Usually, what happens here is leaders find that they are working on tasks that do not produce results or spending too much time on specific tasks. Once you evaluate this, and now that you're armed with this information, you can immediately start making changes to your schedule. Ensure that you are working on tasks that produce results, that are critical to your business, that are aligned with your goals, and here I really like to think about the 80-20 rule. Many times, there's 20% of the activities that we do that yield 80% of the results. If we can zone in on what those activities are, we'll be able to increase our outcomes. So that's the very first thing that you do. You need to check you. Are you working on the right things? Where are you spending your time? That's the first thing.

Speaker 1:

Number two, and this is my favorite automation and process efficiency. This is a big one, so let's break it down into two sections. The first thing you want to do is take a look at your business processes and identify areas where there are inefficiencies. You really need to be objective when you're looking at it, because you don't want to think I've always done it this way. You really want to look at your processes to determine do they make sense and is there a more efficient way of doing something? Sometimes we get stuck into doing the same thing over and over again because we've always done it that way. That doesn't mean that it's the best way to do it, and usually what happens is our processes should evolve over time. The more we learn about something, the more they should evolve, because now we're finding out either more about our client, more about our business, and you start to integrate new ways and adapt new, innovative ways of doing things. So, first things first, look at your processes, identify if there are some inefficiencies and by streamlining your workflows, you're going to eliminate bottlenecks and optimize your operations, ultimately freeing up valuable time and resources that can be reinvested into other areas of your business.

Speaker 1:

Now the second part of that is you're going to look for ways to automate repetitive tasks. If there are things that you find that you are doing over and over again, see if you can automate it. For instance, I love this platform called Zapier because it allows me to automate certain things, certain tasks. So look across your business. Are there things, like I said, that you do over and over again. For example, let's say you host webinars every month and when someone signs up for Zoom, they register within Zoom. You could have a Zap that has them automatically added to your email marketing platform. That way, you continue the conversation and you can continue to follow up with them. Or for us, service-based providers, one of the things I have is that when someone meets with me, they schedule a meeting on my calendar, I automatically have them added to my CRM with some of the information that they have shared with me, and then that way I could do a little personalized, a little bit more personalized follow-up directly from my CRM. Just think about the things that you do on a regular basis and, if there's a possibility, to automate them. So you want to automate repetitive tasks and then improve communication and collaboration.

Speaker 1:

For instance, I use my project management technology or software platform in order to communicate with my executive assistant. It doesn't mean that we don't use the phone or don't use email. What it means is that I assign tasks within the project management platform. She gets it, she goes in, she works it, she responds, she asks me any questions. All of this is done within the platform. So when I'm talking about automation, I'm also talking about enhancing how you use your technology within your business and enhancing the processes that you have. These are all different ways that you build capacity. Anything that allows me to focus on the right thing and save time is going to help me to build capacity within my business.

Speaker 1:

Now, outside of automation, technology and process improvement, the third thing is delegation. This is something that I talk to solo renewers about a lot, because so many times they feel that it has to be a full time employee, somebody that's a W2 employee. But there are so many different ways to get assistance for your business and it doesn't have to be full time W2 employees. When I first started in business, I hired freelancers or contractors, and I still use contractors today, and there's different ways you could do this right.

Speaker 1:

So, once you've done your time study, you know where you're spending your time, you know the tasks that you're doing. You know how much time you're spending. There's going to be things on there that you're doing that does not necessarily require that you do it, but the first thing we think of is I don't have a team. Well, you still can delegate it to people. You can delegate a project to somebody. You can hire a contractor. You can go on Upwork or Fiverr and hire a contractor to do a specific project. Or you actually have people that do administrative tasks and you can buy X amount of hours. So I could take all of my administrative tasks, put them together and buy five hours at a time to have somebody do it.

Speaker 1:

These are different ways that you can maximize your time, because there are certain things, like I said before, I don't necessarily need to do. It doesn't require my skill set. It doesn't require my level of skill set or authority knowledge, anything like that. That's something that I could delegate. If I don't have a team, I could delegate to a freelancer or to a contractor. I want you to really think about those things.

Speaker 1:

Think about how you can free up your time, how you can get more of the right things done within your business. This is going to help you to start to build capacity so that you can start to grow your business. Those are my three ways. Number one you're going to do your time study or your time audit to find out where you are spending your time. Number two you're going to take a look across your processes, see what workflows you can improve. What can you automate? How can you better use your technology. And number three, you're going to delegate. This applies even if you don't have a team. Of course, if you have a team, it makes it a lot easier, but if you don't have a team, you can still reach out to freelancers and contractors to work on specific projects or to purchase a specific amount of hours to have them do tasks. So that is it. In conclusion, building capacity in your small business requires a strategic approach and a commitment to continuous improvement. By investing in technology and infrastructure, developing your team and streamlining processes and workflows, you can position your business for long term success and growth.

Speaker 1:

That wraps up today's episode. I hope you found these strategies helpful in building capacity within your small business. Be sure to tune in next time for more insights and tips to help you grow and thrive. Until then, take care and keep pushing forward on your entrepreneurial journey. This has been the Operations Toolbox podcast. Thanks for listening.