Is Your Business Baby-proof?
As you guys *might* know, I’m pretty pregnant right now. Just beyond the 8 months pregnant mark – so I’m coming right up on new-mom-hood.
While I was pregnant, I actually ended up hiring a maternity leave coach. This is a thing!! I know – amazing, right? Her name is Arianna Taboada and working with her was an absolute God-send! Check out more about her at AriannaTaboada.com. She also appeared on the podcast and shared amazing insight on this topic in Episode 49.
In reflection of the work she and I have done together, I realized that ALL businesses need to be baby-proofed! Whether you’re having babies or *not*, you need to have a business that can sustain major life changes or long pauses – like big vacations, cross-country moves, sudden illness (God-forbid), among other life-changing things.
Be the CEO of Your Own Business
This also calls to mind a wonderful conversation I had with Hanneke Antonelli on her AMAZING podcast the Savvy Business Show.
If you know Hanneke, you know she is ALL about helping you step up and be the CEO of your business rather than assuming all the different roles of your business. She’s big on stopping you from calling your business your baby (because it’s not) – and helping you step more into a leadership role. Because only when you do own your bossy-ness can you actually do all the other amazing revenue-generating activities you should be doing (these are just a few):
>> Establishing strategic partnerships
>> Selling your stuff to potential clients
>> Running webinars and sharing authentically on social media
>> Sending newsletters
>> Networking and putting yourself out there
Sounds amazing, right? Well, we only have time for revenue-generating activities if we’re stepping up and being the boss of our own business. #micdrop #facts
4 Ways to Baby-proof Your Business
#1 – LEAN ON YOUR TEAM.
If you don’t have a team, I don’t know how you do enough to make money. I really don’t. I lean super hard on my team as it is – and now I’m grateful that when I go on Maternity Leave, I have wonderful people willing to step up and support our clients! If the word team freaks you out, I think you need a VA at the very least: someone who can help pick up the slack for you, keep your ship organized, and free you up to do some good ole fashioned revenue generation.
#2 – CREATE AN OPERATIONS MANUAL.
It sounds daunting, but not if you start a little at a time. I used my notes app on my Mac to notate every time I did something new. We often tell ourselves, “So much of what I do is judgment calls and decision-making! It can’t be outsourced.” But you’d be wrong.
There’s LOGIC to that and there’s a method to your madness. Writing down not just the HOW but also the WHY is the way to create an Operations Manual your team relies on.
Another amazing thing about an Operations Manual is that once it’s created, it’s something you should add to your bookmarks bar and something the whole team can use for reference when it comes to stuff you “assume” they already know. Having procedures spelled out removes assumptions and reduces human error big-time which gets everyone on the same literal page.
#3 – COMMUNICATE ROLES AND EXPECTATIONS.
A lot of this is about leadership, I know! But you can’t just write a manual and go to bed. You need to make sure everyone has access to it directly. That requires individual conversations (both on and offline) and directly communicating what, in the manual’s procedures, is applicable to each person. Doing this part is critical to having team members know what’s expected of them!
#4 – REMEMBER THE REIGNS ARE ALWAYS IN YOUR HANDS.
So much of leadership involves having an assistant or team to lead. It’s important to remember that delegation and communicating expectations will free you up, but that you can also jump in where you feel called and when you feel it’s necessary. There’s no need to go extreme and pull out of your business entirely. That part is still up to you.
I can say with certainty that I will be having a touchstone on what’s going on in the business – even when I have a new baby in my arms. And that’s my call to make. Because I’m the boss, remember?
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