Cruise Planners December LB 2017

Growing Pains or Opportunities?

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Joanie Ogg, CTC, MCC

Owning and operating your own business and that pride of ownership is a wonderful feeling. That is if you are able to handle your current book of business and still be able to make time to grow that business. As your business grows perhaps you may find that the workload is too much to stay on top of and looking for some assistance becomes necessary to stay on track and build your business.

It is always a big decision and really an emotional one to relinquish some control of your business to someone else be it a partner, employee, independent contractor or even another business that can provide the services you need to free up your time.

The first step might be to ask yourself some of these questions to see if you do need help with your growing business. It often helps to make it clear that you do in fact need help so that you business does not go into a holding pattern but instead remains a growing and profitable entity. Before answering these questions perhaps you can take some time to make a list of your daily business activities with a clear description of what you do. This may help you realize where delegation might be an option.

Do you work longer hours than you used to and much of the time is spent on routine tasks that might be done by someone else?

Are you missing deadlines and putting clients off because you are simply too busy to take on any more business?

Are you answering the phone or answering emails abruptly and unconsciously making people feel you are not giving them the much needed time and attention they feel they deserve?

Do you do all your own graphics, web design, ad design, newsletters, etc.? Perhaps outsourcing some of these things would free you up to build your business.

Are you working longer hours and more days per week but actually getting less accomplished?

Are you finding it almost impossible to make time to be creative and implement new ideas for your business?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then perhaps you should look at some alternatives available to help you grow your business instead of circling around in a holding pattern.

Here are some ideas to consider.

The Family and Friends Option
This is an alternative that only you know in your heart will or will not work. In some situations this is not even an option, but if it might be for you be sure to handle it appropriately and cautiously. Remember, if there are loved ones involved, your relationships are far more important then any business can ever be. If you have friends who do not work, perhaps they would like a little fun money to do data entry for you or to help manage some aspect of your workload. Compensate these people fairly even if they are family. They are far more likely to take it seriously if they are being paid.

Partnering With Another Agent Option
Perhaps an option for you might be to work with another home based agent. Perhaps they are just getting their business started and can use the extra income or experience you offer. An agent may be a cracker jack at web design and you know that is not your thing at all. Maybe you have an expertise they need. You can trade out services or you can pay each other as an independent. Just be sure you have a contract and or agreement so you are both clear on your obligations and understanding of the relationship.

The Employee Option
You can hire an employee to work in your home or perhaps better yet from their home. Just keep in mind that you must comply with employee labor laws and other details in your specific local. This is an option that involves more of a commitment of time setting it up for your business. If you decide to do this in your home you must be sure you are zoned to have an employee work in your office. Look carefully at this option to be sure it is financially viable.

Another option along these lines is to look to an employment agency to assist you in finding either part time or full time help that meets your needs. There are several agencies that specialize in travel that could be of assistance.

The Employee Option
You can hire an employee to work in your home or perhaps better yet from their home. Just keep in mind that you must comply with employee labor laws and other details in your specific local. This is an option that involves more of a commitment of time setting it up for your business. If you decide to do this in your home you must be sure you are zoned to have an employee work in your office. Look carefully at this option to be sure it is financially viable.

There are so many ways to accomplish the task of making more time for yourself to be creative and to enjoy the fruits of your labors. Only you will know when it is the right time to take advantage of your growing pains to create opportunity for your travel business.