In the Britain of late 2018, two thirds of construction and trade businesses would choose more time over more money, according to a recent survey. Many find it difficult to juggle a multitude of tasks that range from attracting and servicing customers to the day-to-day running of the company. They therefore often lack the essential time and space to step back, manage and grow their businesses effectively, according to Alison Warner of Evolve and Grow Coaching.
‘‘This figure absolutely fits with what I see every day as a business coach and is why I took my business in this direction,” says Alison. “If firms face too much demand (which we call being ‘in overwhelm’), it’s usually because they have challenges in three important areas: organisation and systems, skilled and trained staff, and the ability to delegate. Business owners say that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do all that they need to. I suggest that there is enough time, it’s just not being managed as effectively as it could be.”
The starting point, advises Alison, is to put robust systems in place. This could be as simple as an electronic diary or something more sophisticated such as a CRM system like SimPRO, and certainly the right processes to attract and recruit good staff. Then, if business owners can hire and motivate the right staff, they will have the confidence to delegate, freeing them up to focus on tasks that will help take the business forward.
Alison says she understands how difficult it is to let go and delegate when someone has built up a business from scratch. “Recruiting, developing and retaining quality employees is one of the hardest things to get right and shouldn’t be done in a panic,” she remarks. “If your staff are trained and motivated, and they understand and align themselves to your company values (which you’ve clearly communicated), they will be your best ambassadors.
“Try to coach rather than tell them what to do – which can be demotivating. A coaching approach fosters good behaviours and helps people to think for themselves. This may take some effort to begin with but will save you so much time in the long run, plus you’ll have a more engaged and capable workforce, so you can concentrate on growing your business.”
Frank Orosz is a self-employed mechanic who’s been steadily building up his business in Maidstone for
the last four years. He firmly believes that time is king: “I have been snowed under and it’s very difficult to keep my work and family life in balance. My business is an old-fashioned one. I’m not going to be a millionaire but I love being my own boss and having the flexibility to manage my time. Alison is helping me to sort out time-saving processes but if I had more time I’d spend it with my family. Time is worth more than money: you can get money but you can’t buy time.”
Alison runs online, face-to-face, group and 121 mentoring for businesses in the trade sector. She also manages a thriving Facebook Group where members can share ideas and best practice, building relationships with other like-minded firms.