What is your vision for the future of your business? Where do you even start to plan when it is difficult enough just to keep everything ticking over, let alone take a step back and review your goals.
Getting the views of an outsider will not only free a business owner from that task, it will also provide a new pair of eyes and a fresh perspective, as well as an honest appraisal of what is good, what’s not so good, what is and isn’t being done and what measures could be put in place to take a business to the next level.
Vanessa Reed from Roboris Solutions works with businesses to not only assess their needs but to offer practical, hands-on support to help improve the operational side of the business. Here, she explains more:
Tell us more about Roboris Solutions
I set up the company last year to make good use of my experience and knowledge gained over the last 30 years spent in management, 10 years of which was running a manufacturing company. The idea is to provide services to companies as they begin to grow, when they have grown quickly or when they know they need help but when they probably can’t commit to employing a general manager or aren’t ready to promote from within. It’s a dilemma for a lot of business owners – they need to move things to the next level but it’s just too much of a commitment at that stage.
So, what typically happens at that point?
From experience, I have seen business owners simply try to keep on top of things themselves and end up overworked and exhausted, which, of course, isn’t good for the business. One of the most important decisions a business owner has to make is knowing when to let go a little bit, to hand over some of the responsibility to others. It’s difficult to do that when you’re passionate about your business, you’ve been in control right from the start and you think that you’re the only one that knows enough or cares enough.
Very often, that’s not the case at all and if you allow yourself to step back and look at what’s happening, you will see that with the right processes and the right team, you can move together to bigger and better things.
At this point the owner/MD may also be doubting their own ability to run their company and their confidence takes a knock. They don’t want to let people know how they are feeling as they don’t want to be seen as someone who is struggling or weak. This is where impartial outside advice can help. I can act as a sounding board to get all of these negative thoughts out and pushed away.
And an outsider may well be able to see that more clearly?
I think so. The closer you are to something, the more difficult it is to see the bigger picture. Your whole world centres around this business, maybe you started it on your own, began to bring in help, and now it’s at a size that is simply unmanageable. As soon as you get to a team of four or five, suddenly there are tasks you hadn’t really considered. Those tasks aren’t the things you want to be doing, you want to be doing what you do best for your customers and clients, but they are vital to the running of a business. So, you need to decide the best way to approach them.
When a business owner becomes overwhelmed by their workload, one of the first things that goes is communication. When you’re not communicating with your staff, they feel left out. They may well be just as passionate as you are about making the business work, but if they don’t know exactly what you’re looking to do, what your goals are, they can’t be part of that. Bring them in and identify goals as a team and more often than not there are already people within you team that would love to be given a chance to develop.
What practical help is available from Roboris Solutions?
Firstly, we’ll carry out a business assessment. That isn’t about looking for faults or to criticise, it’s to get to know the owner/MD, how they think and what motivates them, and build up a clear idea about how the business is being run and what needs to happen to take the company forward.
From there we will help identify any problems or shortfalls and, together, come up with solutions. What this looks like depends entirely on the company and the owner’s/MD’s needs at the time. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution as every company is different.
I will send the owner/MD my assessment and potential solutions along with a quote to do the work. I am not someone who comes in, finds problems, suggests a solution and then disappears. I am there to give practical, hands-on help to enable you to get you where you need to be. By entrusting me to take care of the work, the sleepless nights and constant worry should start to ease as you get back into the flow of doing what you do best, which is growing and developing your company.
How long would your involvement normally be?
It varies, but the truth is that with all clients my aim is to eventually get them to a position where they don’t need me. Where they want me to continue providing services, I can do that but very often it turns out to be at this point that a business realises it needs to take someone on as a permanent manager, or it could be promoting someone from within rather than having me for one or two days a week.
After that, they might want Roboris to come in every couple of weeks or once a month for a ‘sanity check’ with the owner/MD to make sure they are still on track or, if they have any worries, that they have someone they trust they can talk to so they know they are not on their own, almost like a mini business assessment.
Our aim is to show business owners that they don’t need to relinquish control, they just need to find the right people to support them and free them up to concentrate on what they do best.