“I don’t know how she does it,” you say. Well, this is because chances are that she probably doesn’t. Spoiler alert: there are only 24 hours in a day and no one can do everything.
I’m a big advocate of two heads being better than one, and any opportunity for collaboration makes me weak at the knees.
We’ve learnt so many lessons refining the vision for our business over the past 12 months. And the key lesson: none of it would have been possible if we didn’t have the right team supporting us.
If we want to have it all, we must let go of trying to do it all.
I was reading an article recently that suggested that great entrepreneurs have all the answers and that revealing that you don’t know how to do something was a sign of weakness.
This got me thinking about all the things I’ve yet to learn in business and what impact the ‘unknown’ has had on our journey over these past years.
I get asked questions all the time that I don’t have the answers for, and I always respond “I don’t know…” but the key thing that I follow up with is “But let me look into it further and get back to you.”
Once I’ve found that answer, I have it for a lifetime.
My point is…
I’m a big believer in the argument that one of the most important traits to have is self-awareness and in the importance of understanding your strengths. Focus on what you’re good at and ‘pay the man’ to take care of the rest.
Most small businesses run a lean ship, which is understandable in the early years of starting a business. Building a team that will support you and your business isn’t just about having the right staff in your business. It’s also about surrounding yourself with a network of people who understand you and your business.
We all have many facets of our life and business that could do with a little more attention, but I thought I’d touch on 8 areas that have been prominent in our lives over the last 12 months and that, with some conscious efforts have made a big difference to our day to day.
Your attitude in life and business determines your success because passion alone won’t get you to where you want to go.
Keep filling up your tank and broadening your perspective. Read or listen to eBooks and podcasts if you don’t have time. You can learn so much from others, get in touch with the world, talk to people, listen to them, go to networking events and invest in training and education. Last year alone, apart from having two little humans, running a business, and rebranding I consumed 14 online courses and attended 4 different conferences. Make. The. Time.
I can’t tell you how important it is to have someone you can look to as a mentor, someone who is doing amazing things in business already. You need to look up to this person rather than make comparisons. Someone in a non-competing industry can always offer a fresh perspective.
Working with a business coach will also challenge you to think more about your clients and how you can serve them better and offer more value.
Washing need sorting? Blinds dusty? Need to fix the pool filter? Time to mow the lawns again already? Can’t see out of the rear windscreen of your car? If you answered YES to any of the above and these thoughts are constantly in the back of your mind, then you should…
Invest in help.
Time is such a prized commodity and worrying about things that you could be paying someone else to do is unproductive, especially when running a business.
Why not leverage the talents of others?
Write a list of everything that needs to be fixed in your home and get a handyman in just to get it done. Your time is better spent in and on your business, with your family, or enjoying your down time.
Value the relationship you have with your accountant.
A good accountant, who understands the vision you have for your business and knows what your financial goals are, can help you back up any new directions you are thinking of taking and will ensure the numbers stack up.
When it comes time to reinvesting that hard-earned cash, your accountant will already have everything at his/her fingertips and, in our case, will happily work with a financier each time we are ready to purchase another investment, so let your accountant spend time pulling together all of your financial documents for the bank.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk through what you are thinking of doing and what your accountant’s thoughts are on how you should go about structuring it. Have these conversations early on, and a great accountant will quickly set you on the right course.
Consider the level of advice that’s available to you. For us; we’re fortunate that our accountant is well-versed in self managed super funds, trusts, and financial planning too.
I also can’t stress the importance enough, if you haven’t already done it, of sitting down with your accountant and doing a tax-planning session every year. It could literally save you thousands and it puts you in control of your money.
Never completely leave these integral parts of your business to one or all of these specialists. Your business is unique to you, so stay hands on and in control of the direction you’re heading.
OK. With software as good as it is today, why, you ask, would I need a bookkeeper? Well, that depends on how you’d prefer to spend your time. I’d rather be doing something that has the potential to make me money then be sorting through dockets and receipts and getting everything organised to send to the accountant.
Our accountant does offer a bookkeeping service, but our bookkeeper does all the sorting and organising of paperwork in addition to doing the filing the way I want it done. Plus it’s all onsite, so I have it at the ready when I need it.
Bookkeeping is the number one task entrepreneurs and small business owners routinely neglect and struggle with. As with anything in life, knowledge is power and we believe you should always be making informed decisions. Knowing your financial position in real time is vital if you want to strategically grow your business.
You may not need one on a regular basis in your business, but since we are in property, for our clients’ sakes and for our own purchases, it’s important that we have a team of legal geniuses that we can call on when we have a burning question.
We work with a couple of different and very experienced lawyers locally and in the big smoke. We can call on them day or night, should the need ever arise.
Remember that not all lawyers are the same; they each have their specialities, even within real estate.
Ahhhh, I know, I hear you. Nurturing a team that shares your values when you’re already busy is one of the most challenging aspects of being in business. Even if you do have a great team, your business will grow, and attrition is just a fact of life.
I’ve conducted many interviews with potential candidates in my time, but having an objective party involved in the whole process is a win-win for you and the potential employee. It makes the whole process transparent, and it takes the stickiness and emotion out of some situations and frees you up to continue doing what you’re good at.
Ever posted a job ad on a site only to get back 186 applications that you need to sift through and short-list potential candidates? As exciting as it is that people want to come and work with you—it’s also scary!
So, a HR specialist can take care of all the shortlisting, reply to all of the unsuccessful candidates (a step not to missed because radio silence is just plain rude), compile a list of interview instructions that will be consistent across all candidates, be an objective party in the interview process, and almost play devils advocate.
If there’s already not enough time in your day to do what you want to do, you’ve probably left expanding your team until too late.
Build relationships with the people that manage your money. Your bank manager, your mortgage broker (who will shop around and get you the best rates going from every bank each time you invest), and your financial planner. Yes all three of them. They each have a unique role in helping us achieve our financial goals.
If I need something from my banker, he’s on speed dial, and I know whatever I need will be taken care of. Who has time to go into a branch, queue, explain your story again, fill in paperwork, sign here, etc.?
Of course, don’t forget your trusted property advisor, who will help steer you on the right course when it comes time to transact.
We have clients now who know they can just pick up the phone and explain what they want to do, and we will make it happen for them. How should they go about selling their property to buy a bigger family home? Can we just handle it all for them? Or maybe they’re simply just ready to buy their next investment property and know that they won’t have to lift a finger to do it (because we’re only a phone call away).
Having a great relationship with a team of professionals you can trust and rely on goes a long way on the road from simply talking about it, to turning your dreams into reality.
I’m a marketer. I know what good design looks like and I’m fluent using the software that makes it all come together. I understand code. I get social media and I know what I have to do to leverage our message through it. But–and it’s a big BUT. Do I really want to do everything myself? And would doing everything myself really result in the best possible outcome? In most cases, no.
I don’t know everything, remember?
I have always surrounded myself with great people who are awesome at things that I’m not. Talented photographers and designers, a web guy who is like the Yoda of code, videographers who know their stuff, quality printers, wordsmiths, public relations, and digital media consultants. Every single one of them is brilliant at what they do. And they work seamlessly behind the scenes to bring this space to life.
Disclaimer here, though—never leave these integral parts of your business to one or all of these specialists. Your brand and its message are unique to you, so you need to make sure you stay hands-on, managing these aspects of your business. The support is just the vehicle and guidance you need to help you deliver your message.
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