Owning a service business can be tough, and running a service business day-in and day-out can be even tougher.
For many service business owners, building a service business stopped being fun a long time ago and somehow it mutated into a “job.”
Here are 4 tips to help you scale your service business and get your life back.
1. Recognize you’re in for a fight, and that it’s normal and expected.
Whether you’re working business-to-business or business-to-consumer, service businesses just may have the highest rate of “owner reliant” companies of any type of business.
Statistics the Census Bureau shows that 88.6 percent of businesses require the owner to be there as the primary person responsible for core functions like producing their product or service, managing the day to day business, and managing the financial aspects of the business. In other words – they are owner dependent.
So relax if right now your company needs you there every day. You’re not alone. And you can solve this challenge and over the next 2-5 years, work yourself out of the job of running the business.
2. Don’t let your “expectations” and “perfectionism” trick you into thinking that only you can meet your own standards.
This is a recipe for you the business owner forced into a role of catching many last minute mistakes that you have to rush in and fix–often at a high price to your family and personal life.
But here’s the thing: while it may be hard to find any one employee who can do things as well as you can, the solution isn’t for you to stay in the mix. The long term solution is for you to refine your systems so that when you take a talented team member and integrate them in a stable structure (read systems) for producing your service offering, and give them simple controls that let them effectively self-manage, then not only can you improve on your quality, but you finally have a scalable business too.
3. Intelligently hand things off in a progressive way to an individual empowered by a system with simple controls in place.
If you want to scale your business and get your life back, it’s critical that you don’t just hand off to a person, but that you make sure your business gives that person the tools to do an excellent job. This means the systems and controls to see that the work is done the best way possible and the feedback to make adjustments on the fly.
Sure you may have handed things off to team members in the past and they might have screwed up, but does that mean that handing things off was the problem, or the specific way you handed things off?
The most expensive words you’ll ever say are, “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.”
4. Systematize the production of your core service offering so you can optimize how it works.
When you take the time to formally process out the production of your core service offering, you can start to break it down and refine it to be better, cheaper, faster, more consistent, and more scalable.
We’ve seen time and time again that when a business owner implement systems and sound business controls, their team enjoys more success, retention increases, and the cost of replacing any one team member drops dramatically.