WomanandGearsOne reason most solopreneurs start their own business is because they want freedom and flexibility.  They want to be able to run the show and at the same time be able to take time off when they choose for fun and family.  This sounds ideal and it can be, but one big challenge that solopreneurs face is that they’re doing everything themselves.  They start out that way and things tend to stay that way, which doesn’t allow much time for the fun and family, so they end up without the freedom and flexibility they were looking for when they started.

If you really want that freedom and flexibility that you were looking for when you started your business, your business has to run smoothly and it has to be able to run without you in the mix.  Can you say that right now if you chose to take a few days off that things would keep moving along?  If not, there are three things that you can do starting right now that will help you keep things up and running.

First, create systems that will help you streamline things.  Most people cringe at the thought of creating systems because they think systems have to be big, complex and cumbersome.  Truth is, they really don’t.  A system is has three components: processes, tools and people.  That’s it, and the components can be as simple or as complex as you like.  The most important thing is determining the processes within each, the tools that will be necessary to perform those processes and the people who will use the tools to carry out the processes.  Creating the systems that you need to keep your business running smoothly will cause you to invest some time, it’s not something that can happen over night, but it’s not something that has to take an extended period of time either.  Invest the time in yourself and in your business to take the steps necessary to determine and then set up the systems that will support you on a daily basis.

Once you have the systems created and up and running, document what you do and how it’s done so that you end up with standard operating procedures manual that anyone can follow to get the job done.  If you keep the procedures updated, anyone should be able to review a procedure and perform the designated task without a problem.

Another step in taking on the challenge of doing everything yourself, is to begin to delegate.  Let’s face it; you started your business not only for that freedom and flexibility, but to make money.  You can’t make the money that you want to make if you’re occupied with tasks that aren’t making you money.  Look at the things that you do on a regular basis and determine whether or not you have to be the one to do each.  Ask yourself if you are the only one who can do this and if the particular task is the best use of your time.  If the task at hand doesn’t require your knowledge or expertise, it belongs in the hands of a capable, trusted individual so that you can focus on the revenue generating things.  Delegating for some is not an easy thing to do.  Letting go can be a process in and of itself which is fine, the important thing is to let go of the things that don’t require your time.  If you haven’t invested in a virtual assistant, consider doing so.  If you don’t want to do that route, find a college student looking to fulfill an internship requirement. Make sure that whomever you choose has the skills to perform the job that you’re asking them to do.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that the time that it will take to train this individual will be time that you can spend on doing the things that you’re teaching them to do.  Use the operations manual that you create during your systems set up to guide them through the processes you’re introducing them to and make adjustments in the procedure where necessary.   The time that you spend teaching is time invested in your business and your bottom line.