Episode # 92 - Hard Questions to Ask Yourself
Summary of Episode Topic
Take a step back and look at your business. To make the company what you want it to be you should ask yourself some hard questions.
This week I’m on vacation with family but while we sit on the beach my mind will still spend some time on my company. I’m asking myself hard questions that can reveal where I need to put my energy in the coming months. Here’s a few you should be asking of yourself. If you don’t know the answers you should be finding help.
In this episode we expand on these questions and others:
- How much can you let go in your business - realistically?
- Can your team run things without you?
- Will your business break if you brought on 5 more clients? What about 10?
- What happens if a team member leaves? What if it’s more than one? What if it’s your right hand person?
Welcome to the Get your act together podcast. I am your host, Kelly Reynolds. And this week I am traveling with my family, we are in Delaware to visit my in-laws, and I am in a closet, holding my microphone like a game show host. Because I completely forgot to pack my stand. As much as I try to relax, my head is thinking about business all the time. Not all the time, but a good amount of my time. And I don't think that's just unique to me, I think that's also just kind of how entrepreneurs work they did, their brains are just always going. So I am in the closet. And if we get this video on YouTube, you'll all get a laugh, I'll take at least a picture or two and post it because I'm literally sitting on the floor of a closet, like a gear show. Because my brain is going right, I'm thinking about all the things that I want to get done. And as soon as I relax, and give myself some space, I get all of these fantastic business ideas. It's awesome. That's the kind of place where really good ideas come. And so I have been letting that happen. While we're at the, you know, floating around the lazy river River at the waterpark, I'm trying to let those things happen and my brain go because I really am fascinated to see where my business is going to be by the end of the year. I'm recording this in August. And my brain is always looking forward. That's how I work. But I'm really looking forward to the rest of the year. We've got about four months, a little more than four months at this point in the year. And I'm fascinated to see how this is gonna work out. For any of you that have been listening to the last few podcasts, you know that my whole business kind of going crazy in the middle of June, and believe may forward. So it's this exciting time of trying to figure out what's going to happen when things are all kind of chaotic, which is scary and exciting at the same time. So as I'm thinking through these things, there are a lot of questions that are coming into my head. And I thought that I would give you some kind of, you know, a bunch of hard questions that you might be wanting to ask yourself as well in your business, that you kind of have to give yourself some space to think about because these are more, you know, theoretical, more abstract questions, then you know, what project management tool use. So I want you to give yourself some space to really think through these things because I think it's really important. And if you don't have a good answer to any of these, it's okay. But I want you to start thinking your way through them and how you might be able to answer them. So let's go to the first question. Okay. Question number one, how much can you let go and your business? Like, realistically, this is a thing that comes up by far as the biggest question I get asked by agency owners or people who want to start an agency is, how do I let go? How do I let people touch my stuff? Right? It's so hard for anyone to give up control, especially if you've started the work as a solopreneur. Just you doing the things, and now you're bringing in and they're gonna touch your stuff, and you have to show people what to do. And it's scary, right? So how can you let go of that work? And let someone else do it? Especially without you getting in the way? Okay. So question two, can your team run things without you? Can you go on vacation? Can you be sick, and actually just stay in bed and get better? Like without worrying that the whole world is gonna end? Can you do that? Now you may be saying, Kelly, you're recording a podcast, in a closet, on vacation. But I have been at the waterpark, I have been letting my team do all the other things that can be done by my team. This podcast is B, I record this, this is my job. And frankly, we were going to record this before we left and we got jammed up. So it is what it is I'm trying to be flexible. But for the most part, the rest of the team has got most of the other stuff. I've done. Very little work. While I've been here for a week we left? Yeah, about a week go. So can you go away? Can your team handle it? Or are you? Are you completely trapped? Are you tied to your desk? Okay. Question three, could you get out of the blank work to bring in more clients, whatever that blank work is, like it's usually delivery or operations in some way? Like can you get out of that day-to-day work that is bogging you down and instead to the activities that will bring in revenue right as the CEO is the leader as whatever you want to call yourself? So often we think that we don't have time for certain things. We don't have time for marketing. We don't have time to for strategy because we're so stuck luck and doing things that are really not our jobs. So what if I told you that you have the time, you have just chosen to stay in certain things because you have not learned to delegate, you have not learned to trust you have not learned to let go? And that you do have time for these other things. And then figuring out what those things are, is maybe another question. What do you want to do? And what don't you want to do? But first, could you get out of this work right now, if you decided I want to be in this work, and not in this work? I want to, I want to keep this fun thing that I like to do. But other than that, I'm gonna stick to marketing, like, what do you want to do? But could you do it? Do you have the team behind you? Do you have the systems behind you? Do you have the processes to be able to let them do their work and know that the work will not suffer? Okay, so number four, will your business break? If you brought in five clients? Like all right now, what about 10? If all of your marketing efforts worked tomorrow if you have five dream clients, they show up and want to pay in full for your biggest package. What if breaks everything? Could you take that influx? Would you just lose your mind? Can you take on that much? Do you have a system for saying no, we have a waitlist? Do we only take on these, this amount of people a month or whatever it is? What would happen if all of a sudden, all the things you wanted came in all the people you want it came in? Would that break your business? And if it would, maybe you need to look at building your business in a different way, so that you could take on more people you could take on more revenue. And most people, I feel like a certain space. I don't know a lot of spaces and a lot of stages of business. If five of their ideal clients came to them at once, something would break. Like that's, we think, Oh, we got to work so hard, we got to work so hard, and then all of a sudden it works. And then everything breaks? What are those kinds of things that you can build into your business so that it won't break so that you can scale? Because we all want to grow? I think most of us at least want to grow in our business. And we usually don't have our businesses set up to actually scale and actually grow. So we think it's the marketing. But then what if the marketing worked? Is the systems the operation? Are they good? Can they can they handle it? Okay. Number five. What happens if a team member leaves? What happens if it's more than one team member? What happens if one of those team members is your right-hand person? And this is a really scary proposition for most of us. Right? We have finally trusted someone, they are fantastic. But what if they leave? This could be nothing malicious, right? We just went through COVID. This could be a car accident like it could be something simple. They never would leave you except they got hit by a bus. Like something terrible. They're in the hospital in a coma. And you can ask them anything. What if all of that knowledge is in their heads? Is it is your business based on someone's brain having everything inside still, I was just talking to someone yesterday who lost a whole team in her business at once somebody walked out and their team left with them. And it's a major project that's almost complete, and they need that team. What happens then? Okay, that can be so scary. But there are ways to put processes systems in place that might be able to mitigate a lot of that disaster, that you can be more ready for people being able to go, because especially in small business, I feel like most of these jobs are these roles. There's going to be turnover people are going to grow in their roles and they're going to move on and that's great. They're happy for them. But how are you insulating your business against people leaving? Okay, and number six? Are you having issues with your team? Not being clear. think honestly, okay, I want you to be really honest here. If the problems you're having with your team members are really them making mistakes all the time, or if it's about you, not setting clear expectations. We talk about this a lot clearer expectations are the foundation of communication, marriage, kids, team, all of it. I believe that most issues with team members are caused by us being unclear what we want what we expect when the task is due, what the task is, whether are there six steps, or two, or 12, and what do they have to do? Being clear is the only way you both will be happy. Because if you say I want this done on the state by that, like, with this amount of hours for this price, they can say, No way, I can't do it for that. And then when it's very clear, it's so much easier to work together. That's why I always recommend some kind of client agreement or contract, not as much for the litigation aspect, because most of us will not go litigate anything. It is for being clear, this is a clear scope, I will work this many hours, I will do this list of things. So when we are not clear, it is detrimental to our business. I know a few business owners that are going through assistants like water, they think that no one wants to work, or no one is good at their jobs or no one's detail oriented enough. When these these assistants, they're probably great. But they have been never, they've never really had a clear expectation set for them. They don't know what is expected of them. So they don't know how to do a good job. Okay, so if you are having issues with your team, are you being clear? Honestly, because there's times where I look at my own business, I preach this all the time, right? Be clear with your beard with your team. If something goes wrong, you probably want to clear that is always my thought. I'm not clear enough. And I even do it now. I say to my team, like oh, I need something done. And they think one thing and I think another and then they will come to me and be like, Look, we need some clarity here. What do you need? What is it do? Like, right, sorry? So I even do it, I get it. But instead of blaming? Are you being clear? Okay. So if you can go through those six questions. Give them a little thought. And let me say it that it's totally okay not to have the answers to these questions. But if you are going to be the owner of your business, you need to ask yourself these questions and get the answers. And to be clear, I want you to find your answers. Not anyone else's answers, your answers. How do you want this business to run? Don't think there's only one way to do it. This comes up a lot when you go to take a course from someone they did it their way, and then they're gonna go teach you their way. And they tell you this is the only way to do it. That's not right. There are a million ways to run a business going through this agency series and the podcast. I am six episodes end at this point. And all the businesses are run differently. Are they successful? Sure. Are they agencies? Yep. Are they all different? Totally. So don't think that there's only one way to do this. You can be successful in totally different ways, right? Like, I've heard people say, Oh, you can only be a successful agency owner for you completely have the work. Well, what if you like to work? Maybe you like being in that a little bit? I think there's a lot of flexibility here. And it's about making things work for you. Okay, so these questions are about thinking through how you want to build your business so that it is sustainable. All right. So I hope you are enjoying you're at the end of your summer. I know a lot of kids are going back to school, we have a little bit left to summer in New Jersey, and then we get local summer, which is a glorious time without traffic and warm weather, and beaches. So I am going to go back to my family on vacation and I will see all of you next week. today's podcast is being sponsored by the Get your agency together group coaching program. This is a program I built for online service providers who either want to start an agency or to grow the agency they have so that it's organized, sustainable and profitable. Over five months, you'll be working with me and the rest of your cohort to break down and rebuild different parts of your business so that they align with the life you really want to build. The modules include systems you'll need offers you'll make the team you'll need to build and the journey your clients will take. Most importantly, you'll have to look at all of these things through the lens of the goals and the values you bring to the table. For more details, go to Reynolds obm.com and join the waitlist you'll be the first to know when the program opens. See you there!