Cash Flow for a Business: Doing too much?

As small business owners, we all do it!

We take on too much; we do too much. We’re always saying “there’s never enough time in the day!”

But are we being productive? Or are we running around, sweat pouring out of every vein, doing tasks others could do for us?

Here is an interesting fact in improving cash flow for a business.

I read an interesting quote the other day which really resonated with me, so I thought I’d share it with you.

“Only do what only you can do.”

I’ll repeat that, because I found it unbelievably profound in its simplicity.

“Only do what ONLY YOU can do.”

It means you should delegate or outsource all activities which stop you from focusing on those which will propel your business forward. In other words, get rid of the time wasting activities; instead focus on what’s important (remembering that what is important is not necessarily those activities which are urgent**.)

Even sole traders must have a clear vision for their business; must inspire those around them whether customers, staff or contractors to elicit confidence and loyalty; and must manage every facet of their business, understanding the interactions and impacts on the bottom line.  These are jobs ONLY YOU can do.

So find a quiet space and time to identify what it is that only you can do, and decide now to let go of every other time-wasting activity as soon as possible. Letting go can be hard for most of us, particularly because we all believe the classic “nobody else does things properly!” and the other classic, “If I don’t do it, nobody will!”  Not true, of course. The other classic is “I don’t have the money for staff or outsourcing.” This may be true but how much money are you throwing away on activities that will never grow the bottom line, never propel you forward?

Once you’ve identified what only you can do, clean up what you’re already committed to. Divide every activity into NOT IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT  and URGENT. Be brutally honest with yourself. Do YOU really need to do that task? Can one of your staff do it just as effectively or good enough to suffice? Could you outsource it? Or could you not do it at all, or delay it to a more convenient time? Once you’ve divided everything up into the three groups, delegate or outsource what you can and set time frames to complete those activities only you can do.
Consider trading your skills to offset costs? If you are good at marketing for example, offer your services to a web developer as a trade-off.

The next step is to decide on the major activities only you can accomplish. Decide their completion deadlines, then drive them relentlessly forward, keeping the end game always in sight.

It’s impossible to do everything, and most likely other areas of your life are being affected, like your health or your family life. So, don’t be afraid to stop taking on and doing too much, only do what only you can do.