Hi guys! It’s Sophie here. I just wanted to grab you for a couple of minutes today to share something with you that I have personally experienced over the last couple of months.

Firstly, I’d like to share this amazing news. I’m pregnant with our second baby, which is fantastic. However, unfortunately, during my first trimester, I was really unwell. I was unable to get out of bed for seven weeks. As the sole director of my business, the fact I couldn’t even get out of bed meant I couldn’t do anything with the business. It left me feeling really anxious and stressed. I was convinced that everything was going to fall apart. 

I don’t know if you can relate to this. But I kind of feel like sometimes I can micromanage a little bit. Also, sometimes, I feel a bit of self-importance, and I think that if I am not there, nothing will run properly. What I learned from these seven weeks, and what was actually proven to me when I stepped away, is that the business survived and actually thrived. We brought on multiple new clients, our clients are ecstatic, and we’ve significantly increased our revenue. 

So it has been a really interesting couple of months for me. It has led me to think of some questions that I wanted to ask you and a couple of things I wanted for you to look at and wonder if you were to be out of your business for seven weeks, how would your business fare? Would your business still function without you? Would it be able to survive without you? Would it thrive without you? Or would it fail without you? I guess the reason that this is such an important question is, when I started my business, my number one value was to run my own business for freedom. 

However, sometimes in running our own business, we can actually end up getting trapped, and that freedom that we started for it just becomes a pipe dream. It just seems to get further and further away. So I was really happy to see that in that seven weeks, the business thrived, and I guess it meant that there were some key things I could look at in my business that we have done that I could share with you to start to apply it if you are off for seven weeks, whether it is a holiday or whether you are sick or something unexpected happens. With this, you will have that security and knowledge that your business will not just survive but indeed grow without you being there. 

 

Here are a couple of areas for you to look at in your business. One would be the infrastructure and systems. What systems do you have in place? What infrastructure do you have in place linked to each of your key processes? The four main key processes in most businesses are general admin, social media and marketing, business development and prospecting, and customer service and support. Now, who looks after those key processes? Is it you? Are you responsible for each one of those? Have you outsourced some of them? Do you have a team that works on some of them? Who are your key people? Who is responsible for each of those departments? Is one person responsible for all of it? Are you responsible for all of it? 

If it is you, is this a task that you could start looking at transferring to an agency, a physical staff member or a virtual assistant? How can you get somebody else looking at and owning those key processes in your business so that you don’t have to? What are the automated processes in your business? Are you still sending every email, or are your emails set up to send automatically? Are you emailing clients? Are you emailing a follow-up? Are you writing newsletters and then manually sending them? Or have you got automation in place to be able to do this for you? 

If in seven weeks you were not in there, would all emails to your clients stop? Or are they set up just to continue as if you were there, even if you’re not? Finally, what external support and outsourcing have you already done? For example, our marketing and social media are all outsourced to an agency in our business. Through this, they can look after all of the marketing and social media processes. I wasn’t there, but that was all looked after. 

Our operations are outsourced to my Operations Manager, one of our virtual assistants, so she runs all of the recruitment team. She makes sure that everything is set up with them. All of our emails are set up to be automated. So we’ve got many different aspects, but when pulled together, I wasn’t actually as important in the business as I thought I was, luckily for me. 

The business, as I say, was able to really grow in those seven weeks when I was sick. If you’re not sure of how your business would fare without you being in it, test it. Take a week out and see what happens. Take two weeks out and see what happens. Any gaps and leaks you’ve got in your processes, automation, and outsourcing will definitely show. 

I truly hope that information was useful. My best advice would be if you haven’t started to do this yet, take some time, plan it out, and look at how you’re going to outsource and automate. Look at how you’re going to have all these key processes, systems, infrastructure set, maybe over the next 90 days or by the end of the year. But definitely, we never know what’s around the corner. We cannot rely on the fact that we will always be there and still going to be in good health to run our business. 

Secondly, the majority of us probably started because we wanted an aspect of freedom, whether that’s the freedom just to step out and take some time or the freedom to build another business. Whatever it might be, if your business depends on you being there to run it, you will find that you feel quite trapped.

Sophie Dearden

Resource Worldwide

resourceworldwide.co.uk