Being in business for yourself can be incredibly demanding. It requires enormous sacrifice. A number of years ago my wife and I owned and operated a used computer retail store. We didn’t have access to a lot of capital to start so we always had to make due with small orders and low sales. We were able to eke out a living but it was nothing to write home about. One thing we didn’t have any of though and that was time.

We were routinely working 60-70 hours of week. It came to the point where the thought of going into work made me sick. Sure we were making a living, paying our bills but eventually it just cost too much mentally, physically, emotionally. The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was when our store was robbed overnight. We were finally getting a little ahead and then we get slammed with this!

I once heard someone say, “Money isn’t everything but it ranks right up there with oxygen.” We all need at least some money to live so we work. If you’re reading this, chances are, you are in business for yourself. It is so easy to just accept the current state of things. You might say to yourself, “I’ve been in business for 20 years! I don’t need to advertise or get my business out there for people!”

That may be true but do you have a succession plan in place? Do you have someone who is ready to take over from you when you retire? Can you sell your business tomorrow and someone else would be able to run it and not go broke doing it? If you can’t say yes to these questions, chances are you are the system and you don’t have a real business. What you have is a job.

A real business is one that can run without you. One that can generate enough cash to allow you to have the freedom to do other things while collecting your profits every month. A real business is one that doesn’t rely on you personally. You could drop dead right now (God forbid!) and your business would continue to run without you. Do you know how to make that happen?

You need a system for everything

Not all of us are writers. I didn’t fancy myself a writer for most of my life. Circumstances caused me to start writing and to find that I actually had a knack for it! Maybe you don’t see yourself as a writer either. The fact is though that you need to start writing down everything you do. To develop Standard Operating Procedures. If you can’t write it down, you are winging it and most of your employees won’t be able to reproduce what you do. To break free from that, you must learn to document everything you do in your business.

You don’t have to write a book. Just write a checklist. Or make a list of bullet points. Step 1 is… Step 2 is….. Step 3 is ….

Unless you take the time to create a system, you will never be able to get your time back. You will always be stuck in your business. You will continue to BE the business instead of OWNING a business.

A Business Coach can help

As a business owner, you are probably feeling overwhelmed with everything you have on your plate right now. If you are like most owners, you are juggling 2-4 projects at once. The thought of sitting down and putting a system in place Is quite likely unpleasant.  That’s where hiring someone to come along side of you like a business coach can help. A good business coach is someone with experience, good listening skills and the ability to help you systematize your business so that you have more time, freedom and money.

Joe Duchesne is a certified web designer and is also a digital marketer who has been building websites and working with businesses for over 20 years. He sold his first computer program for profit at the age of 12. He has a passion for marketing and for seeing small business owners succeed and gain both time and money freedom.