Recently I had to ring a small company with a couple of queries. The lovely woman I spoke to (let’s call her Lucy, because that’s her name), helped and resolved my first query. I then said I had another query, which might be another department and Lucy chuckled. She said “I am that department too”. Then she summed up, in one sentence, the challenge that faces many small businesses, she said “In fact, really, I am all the departments”.
I can remember when I started my first business. The shock of realising that I was responsible for everything: marketing, toilet paper, doing work that had been secured, accounts (particularly getting money in) and paying staff and bills, plus contracts and HR. The list went on and I had been used to have departments for each thing, in my lovely corporate office looking over London. I had my private parking space and if I needed anything then the relevant department did whatever it was and actually, I was often even separated from asking, since my secretary managed my office.
I can remember the first few months of self-employment, as I got used to doing it all and always feeling I was missing something (often I was right!). I was sometimes overwhelmed by, as some people say, having many hats to wear.
As my business grew, five things happened:
- I developed and fine-tuned systems and processes so they, and I, became more efficient.
- The business grew.
- I discovered networking and met other small business owners.
- Some of these small business owners took on some of the non-work requirements, so my list reduced to looking after customers and adding new ones.
- My business really grew!
Lucy made me remember how I had got to where I am and how learning I didn’t have to be all departments had helped me to focus on what I was really good at and which I loved doing. I stopped feeling overwhelmed on a regular basis and started to enjoy being a business owner with the responsibilities that involves.
If you are feeling that you are tired of saying “I am that department” in your business, then let me help you with your networking, here’s a gift to you: my Top 20 networking tips. Just follow this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to receive your copy.