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10 tips for working on your business, not in your business

Wednesday, 7 August 2013 | By Trevor Jenkins

This how it usually goes: When you first started your café or restaurant, you spent all of your time in the business as there was a lot of effort involved in just getting things moving.


Now your little baby business is growing up and getting busier as all your hard work starts to pay off. This is one of the most critical times in the life of your café or restaurant business; it is now time to bring more people in!


One of the hardest positions to fill for the first time is the manager’s position. Once you do find the right person to take control of your growing business it allows you to stop being the ‘fire fighter’ that you’ve been for so long, trying to put out the spot fires because you haven’t had the time to put the processes in place to prevent the fire in the first place.


Here are some other tips to help you get back to doing what you do best:


1. Networking


You are not alone in your journey as there are many new business owners going through the same growing pains as you. Get in touch with your local council to find out where the groups are in your area. You will get to share your experience and gain valuable tips to try in your own business.


2. Learn how to delegate


This is something that many business owners have trouble doing. Once you have learnt the art of delegation, you will feel the pressure lift.


3. Use a calendar


Using and sharing your calendar is a great way to prioritise your day and it also allows your team to see when you are available. It is important to block out time so you can step back and recharge.


4. Weekly meetings


It is a good practice to have a weekly meeting, even if you think there is no time or nothing to talk about. It is always worth catching up with your managers and supervisors on a regular basis to allow them to bring things to the table.


5. Position descriptions


It is very important to give all staff a position description as part of their induction, ensure that they read it and are happy with it. The position description indicates the boundaries of their work and responsibilities.


6. Set KPIs


Key performance indicators are a great way to have all team members heading in the same direction. KPIs should be set out very clearly in the position descriptions. All KPI’s should be regularly measured and rewarded.


7. Standard operating procedures


SOPs are an absolute must in any venue; it lets everybody know what is needed and how it is to be done. Without them, you will find yourself continuously answering questions that need not be answered.


8. Employ correctly


I am sure that you have heard the saying, “Don’t try to put a square peg in a round hole”; it’s the same for your business. It is very important that you take the time to employ the right person for the position, if you make the right decision it will make your days much more pleasant.


9. Find a good accountant


Many café and restaurant owners that I see do not have an accountant with them and they are spending valuable hours every week doing the books. Having an accountant frees up time and allows someone to look at the business without bias.


10. Outsource


There are some things in your business that just take up too much of your time. You may think that it is cheaper to do it yourself, but think about this: If you didn’t have to do this task, you would be able to spend your time generating more revenue for the business. Therefore, what you are paying your outsourced workers becomes insignificant.


There are always things that will drag your attention back into the business – it is your baby after all! Give these ideas a try and you will be back to building your business – and not working in your business – in no time!