New business owners are like new parents. They are afraid to leave “the baby” in the hands of another no matter how trustworthy that person may be. Sure, Grandma has a lot of experience having raised four children of her own . . . but this is “my child! And, no one can take care of it better than me!”
New bakery owners are equally as headstrong and possessive of their business. Many will find themselves there morning, noon and night. Not because they have to be, but because they are approaching each job in the bakery with the attitude of: “No one can do this better than me.” Faith in your abilities and determination to get the job done are great qualities. Business owners need that determination, right? So why is this a bad thing?
Here Are Five Reasons For Business Owners To Share Their Workload:
1) You Can’t Do It All And Do It All Well.
You can’t clone yourself, and you can’t be everyplace at once. But, you feel like you should be and find yourself “job hopping” through your own business. You move from position to position, stand over the shoulders of employees and jump into work that wasn’t even on the radar . . . realizing at the end of the day that there are several things on your own “must do” list that are half done or worse, not even started. Instead, train your employees and get out of the way. Don’t just give them the workload, give them the responsibility for the workload.
2) You’re Risking Your Long-Term Success.
No matter how hard we wish otherwise, there are still only 24 hours in a day. If you spend your time doing the jobs that others should be accomplishing, you will never get to the jobs that ONLY YOU can do. Many owners will say, “I want to show my employees that I’m not above doing any job.” This just means you want your employees to respect you and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, if you spend your time bagging bread, rotating inventory on the shelves and slicing tomatoes, who is going to work on growing the business? Or controlling costs? Or the next marketing campaign or event you could participate in? Or spend time with the next contact who could bring in more business? Those are the jobs that fall to the business owner and are where you should be spending your time. Your team will respect that kind of leadership, knowing they’re part of a thriving, growing business.
3) If You Try To Do It All, Then Your Best Employees Can’t Contribute.
No, your employees are not going to do everything exactly as you would. (Sorry, still no clones…) But that doesn’t mean they don’t have solid ideas that could improve your business, whether it is creating the next great product or a new way to handle a tedious task. If you’ve trained them and given them the responsibility to be the best at their jobs, you should expect ideas, feedback and improvements. That’s what it means to give someone more than just the workload. Embrace contributions by your employees, even if you can’t implement them all. Employees who feel their work matters are happier, and that is conveyed to every customer who walks in your door.
4) You Need A Team That Supports Your Growth.
You can’t be everyplace at once in one business. Imagine trying to do it for two! You set out with a plan to grow your business to its maximum potential, and you may have considered additional locations for the future. The longer you keep too many unnecessary jobs in your own hands, the longer those goals will take. Think of your employees as a team. No, they won’t all stay on the roster. But developing employees that are willing, able and encouraged to take on responsibilities could be the difference in whether or not you can increase your business or expand. Having that kind of stability and drive on your team matters. Many of our current bakery owners began as employees in our stores, partnered with owners to open a location and eventually bought or built their own stores.
5) You Need A Life Outside Of Your Business.
If you bury yourself too deeply in your business, you may eventually grow to resent your own dream because you feel it doesn’t allow you to have a home life. In actuality, it isn’t the business, it’s you! You have to be willing to “leave the baby” by trusting the team you’ve built and trained. In the same way that having happy employees is picked up by your customers, having an owner that is tired, stressed or frazzled from lack of relaxation causes a ripple effect through the entire business. Putting someone else in charge is the ultimate act of trust and confidence, not only in the team but in your own ability to lead and train. Getting out of your business gives you time to unwind and gives your team a chance to shine.
Breaking the Pattern
Breaking the pattern of “I can do it all” is never easy for a lot of personality types. But it is necessary for success. Instead of standing over your employees and juggling positions day after day, put your efforts up front. Utilize your skills to train your team and give employees the responsibility for the jobs you’ve hired them to do so you can do the owner’s job – managing and growing the business.
At Great Harvest, we train you to manage and grow your own strong and exciting bakery business.
Learn More About Small Business Ownership with Great Harvest:
Read more about sharing the load:
- Franchise Research Question: Can I Balance Work and Life?
- Want Work-Life Balance? We've Got a Recipe for That
- The Most Important Step to Starting a Small Business
- 10 Characteristics of Successful Great Harvest Bakery Owners