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Small Business Tip: Why You MUST Find Your Own Replacement in Times of Need

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Find Your Own Replacement in Times of Need

We get SO caught up in the day-to-day that we rarely consider what would happen if we could NOT work. I have literally seen businesses shut down when the owner got sick or was not able to work. I was talking to a minority entrepreneur who does an entertainment site and he was telling me that he literally works 13 to 15 hour days. I asked him why and he said news keeps coming and he has to be there to post it (see Automate). I personally work 3 hours a day and for me THAT’s too much, this does not include my personal business like bills, accounting, errands, client needs, responding to email etc, when I combine everything, I work about 4.5 hours a day and I’m working on taking that to 3. I can’t imagine working like he does and we primarily do the same thing.  Here are a few tips to what I have done to help put your business on auto pilot. (Click NEXT above or below the post to see the next segment)
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Hone in on the employee that thinks and acts the most like you

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Find Your Own Replacement in Times of Need

Almost ALWAYS the people who complain about not making enough money to hire someone are the same ones that don’t INVEST in their businesses when they CAN hire someone, even part time or per project, to help so that they CAN make more money. They are thinking in reverse order. In other words, if you want to make more money you HAVE to INVEST more money INTO your operation. Having someone act on your behalf will open the door for you to focus on marketing, client needs, up-selling, educating yourself on new trends and growing your business. You’re gonna have to pull some money from somewhere to do this but we ALL have unnecessary expenses like cable that we never watch or downgrading some of our other utilities or subscriptions which all add up each month. There’s also always the one employee that really comes through that can literally answer your questions in advance, take instructions AND implement very well and think just like you when you are not around. I am SO incredibly blessed to have a great person just like that. Sometimes when you do a niche business, it’s very difficult to find that person because they may not know your business but they can learn and they are GOLD. You MUST find that needle in the haystack and it may take you a while to do so but it truly frees you to do more for your business and it’s the ONLY way you are going to grow without killing yourself.
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Eliminate and Automate

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Find Your Own Replacement in Times of Need

Checking your email repeatedly throughout the day, for example, is a wasted effort that will eat up a LOT of time and energy. Also watch phone calls to friends or family during working hours. You have to discipline yourself to get the most important work done early in the day and eliminate all distractions. I get it, as entrepreneurs we are always looking for that magical email that says ‘LOOK, Here’s some Money!’ However, for those of us who are legitimate and have passion for what we do FIRST, we know that money will come so FOCUS on the brand or something else after your initial call to the client.  Kill the auto email, twitter, Facebook alerts on your phone unless you REALLY need them as they come out. As far as that magical email you are looking for… Have you ever noticed that you usually get the things you want in everyday life when you are NOT looking? I mentor several young black men and women and I tell them “The universe likes what’s moving and it turns that moving object into a magnet.” Think of a race, for example. a majority of people are on the sidelines, they don’t have a goal like the person running in the race. His goal is the finish line. The people on the sidelines are cheering him on and  giving him water ESPECIALLY when he is winning. While he is focused on the finish line he’s getting the added bonus of something he is not focused on support, adulation, admiration and assistance in helping him reach that goal. He’s not looking or focused on that support it’s an added bonus of his goal(s).

If you can wait until 11am to check your email IN THE OFFICE ONLY so that you can readily respond, you can get the most important stuff done right away and skip through the 95% of pure BS email that comes with it. Instead of the appetizer, you get the entire meal when you wait until 11am (also check around 4pm)

This is what I do. Instead of repeatedly checking email all day I only check it twice, when I am in the office. I don’t have email access on my phone anymore because it makes me feel like one of the zombies we all see every single day CONTANTLY checking their phones every chance they get.
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Make the most important aspects of your business mobile

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Find Your Own Replacement in Times of Need

You can literally hire a small team of people to help you run your business for pennies on the dollar. Quickbooks, for example, has an EXCELLENT online system that charges a small fee monthly that automatically integrates with your bank account(s) to make managing your finances and spending SO much easier. In addition I LOVE their apps some of which offer services that can scan, label and attach your receipts for tax purposes. Set aside a certain day and time to handle this like Fridays or Sunday mornings whatever works best for you.  You can do this from anywhere. I do have one concern with the online system, you can’t back it up, so if you decide to cancel the service they have you trapped. I hear they are working on a solution for this but in the meantime I would suggest printing out your reports each month.
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Look OUTSIDE of family or friends

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Find Your Own Replacement in Times of Need

One of the GREATEST mistakes you can make as a small business owner is trying to take people where they don’t want to go, trying to help people who don’t want to be helped and babysitting people who feel entitled. Hire people you can FIRE if you need to sans the stress or family problems that result from a bad situation where you had good intentions. Believe me when I tell you I have seen families torn apart by hiring other family members. It’s just not worth it if they can’t do the job.
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Focus in on repeat clients…

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Find Your Own Replacement in Times of Need

You must absolutely stop wasting time with clients that will NEVER support  you. and keep them informed when you go on Vacation or take some time off. Let them know who they can reach in your absence. I do find however, that talking to a person that you KNOW will rarely support you may open the door to some valuable information as to why they don’t support you more. I know people in my business who don’t support me because competitors have given my industry a bad name over the years. They ask for money based on tenure instead of good service and keeping up to date and I have to pay the price for their belly-aching and whining. In addition I have had potential clients who do indeed feel a sense of obligation to help people in my industry who have worked for many years and who live off tenure. They feel like if they do something with me the legitimate and up-to-date service, they will hear from competitors complaining as to why they are not supporting them (and they ALWAYS do). The clients don’t have the budgets to give them so they’d rather not advertise at all instead of telling them the truth and supporting those who do the work. It’s unfair but understandable from a black perspective. They want to help everyone but unfortunately, you can’t do that, still they don’t want to look like the bad guy.  Because of this, I have to continue to make my business more appealing to other clients (who still get bombarded by the same competitors) to keep the doors open.
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Take a Vacation to get Reenergized

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Find Your Own Replacement in Times of Need

I’m ashamed to admit that I took my first official vacation to go on the Tom Joyner cruise this past April. It was the first vaction I have had in 20 years! You read that right. I was so busy trying to build my business that I was afraid to take too much time off. Sure I went to Buffalo to see family or to industry events in New York, Atlanta etc but NOTHING for myself that was not industry related. I LOVED it and plan to do a lot more traveling. You want to gain perspective? Take a vacation.
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To Grow your Business

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Find Your Own Replacement in Times of Need

Just because things are going well today, it’s not a promise for how things will be tomorrow. As changes in your industry take place, sometimes at a very rapid pace, you want to make sure you are on top and being innovative and productive. You cannot do everything yourself and expect to grow. It’s not going to happen.  You have to pull yourself away for a minute to see the operation from a distance.

 

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