Welcome to Part 3 of Episode 2.
In this episode (spread over 4 parts) I am covering off Actions to implement when starting or taking over an existing business.
This Part is all about work life balance and what I did to achieve it without impacting my business.
Working in and owning a café aint easy, in fact its tough. For all involved it requires long days and nights. You usually work when everyone else is playing and your social life takes a hit. Some days are satisfying and others are just damn frustrating.
AS an owner it is particularly draining. Any time off is minimal. You work weeks on end with little time off. Christmas, New years and other holiday periods are spent working in your business.
I thought as an owner this was normal, work hard now and reap the rewards later.
Oh how I was wrong.
This attitude and behaviour had an impact on my family and my relationships. I was finding on my days off not actually being present in the moment and was always thinking about the business or taking phone calls. Something needed to change.
Why do I get phone calls on my days off?
If you are already owning your own business or in a leadership position where people look up to you for guidance you have probably said this or can relate to this
“things always go wrong when I’m not there!”
Ive been there, plenty of times.
But, do things actually ONLY go wrong on your day off?
Or when you are at work you are either are preventing things from going wrong or are fixing them without really acknowledging it?
Getting those phone calls was a combination of 2 things
- My staff were relying on me too much
- I didn’t impower my staff to manage tasks themselves
I had Managers in my business’ and they would be there when I wasn’t there. When they had a day off I would be there. This was important to deliver our standards all day every day. But I was still getting calls on my days off. Why?
My Managers loved the business as much as I did but I needed them to be more accountable and responsible. There was a gap in what I needed from them.
That wasn’t their fault it was mine.
Time for a change.
I needed to delegate. More.
I gave my managers more tasks and started to let go of things to see how they would respond.
I had a saying “make mistakes to learn from them”. We made mistakes but we learnt from them and moved forward.
What I noticed was not only my managers but the rest of the team loving the business more. I noticed a change in the quality of work they did and the pride they gave it.
By delegating tasks and responsibilities to Managers it gave them more ownership of the business. They cascaded tasks down to the team which created a chain of command. This further built accountability.
Accountability is vital part of team work. This can only be achieved by delegation and followup. Everyone needs to play their part and be responsible to achieve the end goal.
The phone calls stopped. I was working a little less. My quality of work was better and my relationships outside of work improved.
But best of all my team were winning without me!
But, be smart about it.
To tell someone to do something is quite simple, however ensure its success you need to ensure they completely understand how to complete the task. As an owner you need to look after your team (The Coffee Lifecycle).
When delegating a task ensure you understand what is required to complete the task and provide training in some tasks to ensure its effectiveness.
For example you can very easily show someone how to complete a roster however proper training in understanding previous sales data, hourly rates, sales per labour hour will deliver a more cost effective roster.
After delegating a task or responsibility you need to follow-up.
No follow up = No accountability. This equals more work for you.
Follow up with the person you delegated the task too.
Remember the below.
Don’t let up on your follow up. You need to make yourself accountable on making others accountable
Working in a café day in day out doesn’t limit yourself to just making coffees and serving customers.
Have a look at what you can learn out of the business. As a barista I wanted to own my own shop one day. I set out to learn everything there was to learn about small business as I was working in it. I was getting paid to learn, the good and the bad.
If something interests you or you want to learn about it eg. rosters, P&L’s etc. get out there and ask. You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
Make mistakes to learn from them. Just don’t do it again!