In his book In The Power of Focus, Jack Canfield shares this sobering statement, “As a foundation is built, people and systems are put in place to create stability. Gradually the entrepreneur becomes more involved in day-to-day administrative duties. Paperwork increases and what started out as an exciting venture becomes a daily routine, with much more time spent putting out fires, handling people problems, tax challenges, and monthly cash flow.
Is this what your day looks like? Be honest, do you spend your days working in your company rather than on your company. It happens, and it’s a trap that can derail your business because instead of focusing on core competencies you're distracted by daily routines.
For over a decade I started companies, and each one failed as quickly as they started. I gradually began to surrender to my internal conversation that, I was not good enough. Now, I come to understand that my failures as an entrepreneur are based more on my lack of clarity. In “Go It Alone” Bruce Judson shares,
“What distinguishes all of these businesses is that the founders have figured out a way to focus their efforts almost entirely on their individual skills -- around what they do best. The owners have outsourced all other business functions to people who can provide them better or more cost effectively.”
I believed that success was built on the foundation of being busy. The problem with being busy is that you are engaged with too many administrative duties. So you get what you have allowed, an unfocused company who is struggling to add value and make a profit.
Success, for all intensive purposes, is based on you focusing on a small number of high-leverage activities and outsource everything else.
Michael Loeb, Founder, CEO of Loeb Enterprises shares the view:
“Successful businesses have the discipline to focus on one skill... and practice that obsessively.”
But what activities do you outsource? You can start by mapping out your entire business processes. That means mind map everything that must happen in your business to generate profit. Next Judson explains:
“What are the unique functions that allow this business to create value for the customer and compete in the marketplace? What are the brains of the business that determine whether the revenues and profits of the operation are to grow?"
As the questions marinate, you will begin to provide better answers. The evolution of your reply will start to paint a reality where you understand what are the different functions that create significant value. Almost without effort you will begin to understand what functions are nonessential, it’s those functions that must be offloaded.
Don’t forget to leverage customer feedback in your decision to outsource those functions. Your goal is to simplify your business and then with laser-like focus solve your customer's particular problem. Steven Rivkin, author of “The Power of Simplicity,” shares:
“Our general education and most management training teach us to deal with every variable, seek out every option, and analyze every angle. This leads to maddening complexity. And the most cleaver among us produce the most complex proposals and recommendations. Unfortunately, when you start spinning out all kinds of different solutions, you’re on the road to total chaos. Simplicity requires that you narrow the options and return to a single path.”
Keep in mind that outsourcing does not mean that you must offload nonessentials to a third party. You can offload nonessentials to applications or services as well:
- Relying on Aweber to automate email
- Engaging a virtual assistant to manage administrative duties
- Relying on Buffer to automate social media marketing
- Leveraging Unsplash to provide beautiful images for your articles
There are no certainties when building a business, but if you want a fighting chance in creating a successful business; it’s imperative that you offload all trivial tasks. Once those tasks are being managed elsewhere, you are free to focus on the core competencies that should drive profits and value.
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