Juggling Responsibilities


How chaotic would life be if you constantly failed to fill your vehicle with gas? Frustration and wasted time would plague you every day.

Running a business means keeping track of many details, much like keeping your gas tank full. Neglect them and success will be far more elusive.

New owners quickly realize that business is more complicated than they anticipated. Learning the technical skills of the trade represents one small piece of the Thinkstock/iStockcompany puzzle. New owners may find that many aspects of running a company are foreign to them.

Learn to juggle

A slew of responsibilities must be managed to keep a company running smoothly.

The fun jobs include paying bills, banking, preparing taxes, entering data, bookkeeping and even taking out the trash.

Large corporations have departments filled with employees that specialize in accomplishing these chores. But, as a small business owner, these responsibilities generally fall upon you.

Some of us became carpet cleaners because these skills do not come naturally to us. Your success in business now requires you to manage all of them.

Fortunately, the business skills needed for a small company are manageable for most people to learn.

You must learn to juggle all of these responsibilities, in addition to providing great service to your customers. Failing to pay bills, file tax returns, maintain insurances or return calls can threaten the survival of your company.

The best way to deal with this challenge is to accept these tasks as a part of doing business and just get them done.

Know your responsibilities

Draw out an organizational chart listing all of these jobs. If you have never made an organizational chart before, you might ask for help from a successful business owner.

Place the name of the person responsible for each task next to it. That will probably be your name, for most of them. To help identify problem areas and motivate you to work on them, put a star by any jobs you especially dislike or lack the skills to accomplish.

The first step is to acknowledge the importance of all these jobs listed and to accept that you are ultimately responsible for them.

Consider how poorly the business will run if these are not done properly. These tasks are just as important as servicing customers, so being too busy is not an acceptable excuse. If you are not willing to accept these responsibilities, running a company may not be for you.

Get help

A common approach when starting a business is to do everything yourself. This may not always be the best plan. It may be better to invest some of your money in hiring out important office jobs to skilled specialists who can reliably accomplish the tasks.

Most people do not have the luxury of time to learn and do everything themselves. If critical jobs can be done better and faster by someone else, consider it.

I am not suggesting hiring employees. Instead, look into service companies that will do these jobs for you. We now live in a virtual business world. It makes no sense to take on the burden of an employee when it is easier to hire out a task.

Bookkeeping, data entry, marketing, web design and answering the telephone are services that can be hired out. You can even hire companies to mail out your follow-up materials or make quality check calls.

The nice thing about contracted business help is that you can replace any service company easily. If they frustrate you or fail to meet your standards, shift to a different service provider.

Schedule time

Set aside time on your calendar for when you will work on and complete the tasks that you have not hired out.

Fortunately, most clerical jobs can be completed during non-prime customer service time. You should not have to sacrifice cleaning opportunities to accomplish office responsibilities. Early mornings, evenings and weekends are great windows of time to schedule these important tasks. It is almost always better to spread out the work than let it pile up.

Pay attention to the jobs where you placed a star on the organizational chart. No one is good at or enjoys every business task. It might help to have a friend hold you accountable for getting them done.

It’s all part of the business

If more people carefully considered all of the jobs they would have to do in running a business, there would be far fewer start-ups.

For some, the easier path of letting another person be the boss and take the responsibility may be the best choice.

If you can learn to manage all of the office tasks, your business life will not only run more smoothly, but be more successful. If the challenge of running a business is for you, it’s time to learn to juggle.

Steve Marsh is the creator of the Be Competition Free Marketing Program. He is a 30-year veteran of the carpet cleaning industry, an IICRC-approved instructor and a Senior Carpet Inspector. Marsh is a marketing and business consultant who provides a turn-key program for attracting better customers. For more information, log on to www.BeCompetitionFree.com.

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