Being resourceful is not an option when owning and operating a small business. Small businesses do not have the same tools available to them as larger companies. Budgets are smaller and productive time is more valuable than anything. With that said, it is important to get anything and everything off of your plate that can be delegated.
When we started AAE Glass, we did everything ourselves. There was only two of us so everything from accounting, to marketing, to production, to purchasing, to customer service, to packing & shipping and so much more took up all of our time. There are only so many hours in the day. I don't care how many of them you spend working, there will come a time when you simply run out of time and your business plateaus. The only way to grow your business at that point is to get more hands involved.
This can be done several ways depending on the size of your small business and your resources. We started by getting some of our younger family members involved to do tasks that could be done during their free time. They were in high school at the time, so weekends worked best. They would do anything from cutting decals, to picking orders to gluing on bails. It is up to you to fully explain what you are looking for and give them a few examples of the exact procedures. Remember, they are in high school and you have been a glass artist, small business owner for years. A clear and concise explanation is worth the time it takes.
After we maxed out those duties, it was time to hire a full time employee. We went through several candidates before we were able to find a quality employee. Again, chances are they are coming from another background, so explaining exactly what you want them to do is very important. They will eventually learn, but by putting in the extra time with them in the beginning, they will become more self sufficient and it will pay off for you in the end.
Don't forget to invest in your website if you sell online. It often gets overlooked and if you don't take the time to clean up and update your website, it will look outdated very fast. Keep refreshing it as well with new pictures and products as much as possible. This will keep repeat customers coming back to see what is new.
At the end of the day, the buck stops with us, the business owners. In order to grow our business we need to surround ourself with productive, positive people willing to work hard to accomplish the same goal. It is also our responsibility to surround these employees with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. The more we can trust them to produce, the more we can concentrate our efforts on other aspects of growing our business. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend fusers!