Time out – or Timing Out?

Jun 24, 2021

Posted on 24th June 2021 at 17:01

From Our What’sUp? Workshop 16 June 2021

We all lead busy lives, both in and out of work, and one of the factors of running a smaller business is that it’s very difficult to balance completing the tasks with actually having a life.
Small business owners are particularly susceptible to taking on the tasks that they can’t allocate to someone else, because that someone else isn’t available and can’t be justified. This frequently spirals upwards, so everything is dependent on a very limited group of people – or maybe just the one!
Sounds familiar?
In the corporate world, administrative functions are often carried out by teams of people. These personnel are employed full-time to process specific tasks, and because there may be several doing similar roles, there’s a buffer so that the absence of one can be accommodated, and they are all working to a similar framework of procedures.
In small business world, because these functions may be undertaken by less than a whole person, a personal absence may cause them to stop.
Several, at the same time.
And the results are missed deadlines, and unhappy customers (and possibly unhappy tax man!)
Obviously, Small Business World can’t employ specific people for specific roles in the same way as Corporate World, but there is a way to make time spread more evenly and improve delegation and backup.
For this we can take a peek at ISO9001, and the definition of roles and responsibilities within the organisation (section 5.3 for those who are pedantic as me). There is NO obligation for these roles to be defined as job titles or physical positions, and certainly no requirement for a single person to take on all of these functions. By expanding this for your business, you can see what tasks and activities need to be completed and assign them to particular people, who may have the most competence, and maybe even have a backup person for them. You can now offload some of those important things where someone else might be better suited.
OK, so now you’ve found where you can recover some of your time, but the benefits don’t stop there!
This information can be used more widely in the business:
Your workforce can clearly see who has responsibility for particular tasks, and approach them direct (meaning you don’t need to be in the loop any more than you want)
You can see who might be overloaded, and who has capacity to take on more.
You have sensible definition of tasks, which means some of them can be outsourced with clear goals.
You can see what’s missing and what is covered more than once.
When you employ someone, you can do it based on their individual competence, rather than a general job title and description.
Your workforce becomes more empowered to take responsibility because it’s there in print.
It can be very difficult for Small Business Owners to delegate, particularly tasks they are good at, but by taking a confident look at what your businesses does provides you with a valuable tool to recover your time to work on the Company.
Farewell to missed deadlines and rush jobs, and hello to time for you.