Business Ownership can be a lonely place
The first thing I start to do with any client is to just stop and look at what is happening - the story of Ann is a great example of someone who was doing a great job - just baffled by jargon.
Once we get her running the business rather than the business running her - by putting a few things in place - we were able to move on to planning how she saw the rest of the world - and she was confident enough to give her husband the phone on holiday and let him decide if she needed to get involved in office problems or enjoy her holiday.
Story of Ann
Ann is a Dentist - she runs a practice in Berkshire.
Ann started to work with me because she had been working in the practice as a freelancer, however the practice owner was looking to retire, Ann had the option to purchase the practice and had done so.
Ann found the transition from a freelancer to owning a practice - with 4 employees and a whole new world of financial planning, wages and strategy complicated.
Sitting together we were able to define what she wanted - she was not worried about doing the work - but felt at the moment like the practice had only one decision maker, and she was spending a lot of her evenings catching up with “Stuff” - with her children finishing junior school and starting high school she felt that she needed to be more available in the evenings, and not trying to answer work emails sitting in the car waiting for brownies to finish.
The first thing we did was to sit together and go through everything she did not understand - words, processes from legal, tax, banking, timesheets, what people were asking her - but also why they wanted the information.
The second step was to look at “the stuff” she was doing and work out if there was a better way. Simple things like looking through her timesheet system - we discovered that the report she would take a Sunday per month to do - was a standard report - but the system was missing 2 numbers - the rate charged, and the rate they were paid. She was worried that adding thes 2 numbers would be a GDPR issue - but she was the only person who had access, and the individuals could see themselves - this also meant that they could see what they were going to be paid. She was not convinced that the system would work - so the next month she ran both processes - and they did not match - the difference was 42p - it took her 9 hours of work vs 20 seconds to run the report. This sounds like a no brainer - and it was, but the point that needs to be remembered is that there were a lot of other questions about things like GDPR, are people allowed to see the profit she makes from them. The staff knew this as they billed the client - and knew what they got paid - but could not see it in the system - would the transparency of what they put in the system lead to staff trying to play the system? Dealing with these questions about things she didn’t fully understand like GDPR - let her build the trust in the system and her staff, and spend a whole Sunday per month with the family - and the 42p - took her an hour and she found why that was a difference, and the system was correct, people had a difference in the milage they put in.
Running a business can feel like everyone else knows what they are doing and you don’t. This can feel lonely, and intimidating - you don’t know who you can ask questions, you don’t know what to expect from systems, you hear terms thrown around as a big disaster that will ruin your life - but you don’t have the time to work and think through what it means to you. This is what I do - I take some time with you every session we look at what is working - what are the questions, and what do you need to do to make it work?