are really self-employed or a have a business? Ask yourself if you can still generate an income when you take a holiday.
Many individuals who have chosen self-employment haven’t had a holiday in years, because they cannot afford to take time off from running their business.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you’re self-employed and don’t have a boss that you have your own business. For many such individuals, instead of having one boss, you’ve got twenty, fifty, or hundreds of bosses (depending on how many customers or clients that you have). Increasing your success being self-employed generally translates to working harder and longer, giving you less time to enjoy life.
Moving from self-employment to becoming a successful business owner can mean real freedom. It is comforting to know that you can leave the business operating without your direct involvement each day and still have income as the business functions in your absence.
Turning self-employment into a business requires establishing systems and procedures so that your business continues whether you are there or not. One reason that many business owners are afraid to take time away from their business is that they fear their staff cannot do as good a job, or cannot make the necessary decisions required in the daily operations.
The first step in overcoming that obstacle is to examine what you do in your daily routine and ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t do some of those tasks. Would your business cease to function? If not, then maybe some of those tasks are taking up time that would be best spent on other activities.
Your next step is to decide which of those tasks necessary for your business really need to be performed by you, or can someone else do them? Obvious jobs would be collecting the mail, buying tea, coffee, stationery items etc that could be done by someone else in your business.
Since some tasks may have to be done by skilled people, you could employ or subcontract others to perform them. There’s other operations necessary for your business to function that could be outsourced, such as bookkeeping and accounting.
As you examine each task you perform as a self-employed individual, you’ll begin to realise how you are spending (or wasting) valuable time in areas that are not as productive or maximising your skill sets. To turn your self-employment into a business you need to look at ways of leveraging your time, increasing your income, and freeing up some of your daily tasks.
As you start to identify the more and the less productive tasks you can begin to compile a manual that outlines how your business operates, and can assign tasks to other people. Now you’re thinking like a business owner rather than being self-employed.
By having an operations or procedures manual in place, these daily routines can be documented so that everybody concerned understands what is required to ensure the business keeps operating without you, the business owner, being present every day.
Fast food chains are classic examples of how systems and procedures have been implemented so that young inexperienced teenagers can run these operations with no business skills whilst the owners can be sitting back enjoying the profits.
You’ll be amazed at the benefits that compiling a procedures manual can bring to your business. As you document all the steps involved you’ll begin to recognise tasks you can delegate, methods you can streamline, and even find more efficient ways to achieve the required results.
Your business manual will make the business so much easier to run. Your staff can all refer to the manual each time they have a problem, instead of waiting to speak to you about the same issues they raised the previous week.
Once you get the business running without you, there may be other opportunities for you to leverage. With the experience you’ve gained you could duplicate the business in a new location and further reap the financial benefits. Other avenues to increase your profits may be through developing a franchise, or licensing your business model.
Not only will the operations or procedures manual add efficiency and speed to your business, but you’ve just added so much more value to the business if and when you decide to sell it.
If you’ve been struggling to find the time and freedom that you were hoping for when you decided to start working for yourself, then maybe the time has come for you to look at other ways of turning your self-employment into a business.