As I write this article in May 2020, we find ourselves locked in a worldwide pandemic that has pretty much ground the world to a halt. Business owners – myself included – have been reviewing their businesses, and looking at the way they run it, whether they shift direction or look at other opportunities altogether. Some of us have really seen opportunities comes out of this situation that we would not have looked at before. Daily I am encouraged by how many businesses have evolved and supported our essential services and the local communities. It reminds me of a quote I heard years ago – “Out of every seed of adversity comes one of equal or greater benefit”.

If we all look carefully at our business operation, we will see opportunities that we would not have noticed before. They have always been there, but because we tend to always do what we have always done, we don’t notice them. As business owners we should always be evolving. Another two quotes comes to mind – “If we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always got” and “The definition of insanity is doing the same things day after day and expecting different results”. We must always be creative and spend quality time working on our businesses and sourcing new opportunities.

Maybe one of the areas some of you have been looking at over the last few weeks is how to run your business more effectively, so if I can give you one bit of advice it is this. Stop trying to do everything yourself. You cannot be all things to all people. Focus on what you are good at and do it well and outsource everything else to those more qualified than you. Yes it will cost you money but you have to look at it as an investment in your business and not a cost. This will allow you more time to focus on what you are good at. Do not employ anyone without the help of an HR professional. Don’t spend one full day a week doing your books when a qualified book-keeper will do it in a few hours and do it properly. Make sure you employ the services of a coach or mentor. Make sure your message is right and you are advertising in the right location to target your audience. Use a professional. By you focusing on what you are good at and outsourcing everything else, this will make your business a lot more professional – and profitable – that it was before.

When we take on staff, I would hope we check their credentials out with previous employers, but for some reason we do not do it when we are outsourcing for suppliers to help our business, and we really should. Ask around. Check their linked in profile. Ask some of those who have given great testimonials to that business. Check with some of their other clients. It is vitally important that we check credentials to ensure we are totally satisfied. Also before we employ the services of an outsourced company, why not check with 2 or 3 businesses offering the same service and make sure you are taking someone on you get on with and who you know can help you get to where you want to go. It will ensure you are not overpaying for a similar service and if you do speak to someone whose costs are more than someone else in their industry, ask them why they are more expensive. You must make sure you compare like for like. Ask them loads of questions to make sure you are totally comfortable.

If we don’t do the necessary checks, then we risk taking on an imposter wrapped in tin foil instead of what we really need – our Knight in shining armour. This will cost us money in the long term and could potentially set us back many months or years in the progress we want to make. Don’t rush in taking someone on, and certainly don’t take someone on that you meet for the first time. Some people are excellent salespeople and you have heard the saying – they could sell ice to the eskimos. It does not make them good at what they do.

I would hope you are in business for the long term, and not just looking for a quick win, which is why it is important to make sure that everyone who is in our teams – staff and outsourced suppliers – is someone you can work with for the duration.

I am happy to chat with you – no obligation – at any time. You can email or fell free to connect with Richard Lionheart Knight on linked in or call on my mobile 07798 632173. 

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 04/05/2020