Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Avoiding the Do It Yourself Trap!

Now before you get upset because you love a good DIY project let me explain - I'm not talking about modifying your tools or fixing your own equipment. I'm discussing a trap that comes from our own minds. One that originates with our strengths to become our weakness. The belief that we have to do the work ourselves in order to have a successful business.
Yes, the old, I can do it better myself, myth!
I myself have tried for many years to do the bulk of our work myself and I know many others who also operate their business that way. However, after a recent car accident I realize just how dangerous that is for my business. As I slowly recover I find that my productivity isn't what I want it to be and it's slow to return. That begs the question - what if I were hurt worse? How could my business survive if the one person doing a large amount of the work or at the very least the more difficult tasks. In our case that could cost us a large amount of our current customer base. So why would someone keep working that way?

I Love What I Do
Some of the biggest reasons that keep us working solo or with a mate only, are our love of what we do and a strong work ethic. We don't want to be stuck behind a desk when we enjoying working outside. We may even feel that if we aren't working hard in the field we aren't doing our all to build our business. Then there's the feeling that we don't want to train an employee to become our competition. Are those concerns valid?
As we discussed above sometimes our strengths can become our weaknesses. For instance a strong work ethic can make us oblivious to how much time we are spending (often unnecessarily) on our business. After a 10 or 12 hour day do you then go home to do invoices, scheduling, returning calls, or a myriad of other tasks before getting to spend any time with your family or even sleep? Do you realize that by and large most people don't want to be a business owner? Do we really have to be stuck behind a desk all the time if we are the boss?
Only you have the answers for your company in those areas. But maybe you can start small. Delegate some tasks to a trusted friend or family member or even use a company that specializes in things like scheduling appointments or taking phone calls. You may find that extra time is addictive and you'd like to step it up to the next level. How then do we protect ourselves from the trap?

What is the Answer?
For our company the answer is twofold. First, as I posted in a past blog, we are moving the company into more commercial maintenance work. Secondly, I am training others to do this work removing me from the equation if necessary.
I know some will say they simply can't entrust their company's future to others but if you can't, will your company have a future if something happens to you? I'm not saying that you have to restructure your company out of fear but allowing our belief that we are the only person who can do the work is a trap that can be hard to escape.
Why not take some time to think about it. Don't let your great work ethic and love of what you do end up becoming the Do It Yourself Trap!

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