What to do if you're working 24/7

working 24/7

Working 24/7? Here's what to do...

Some businesses are lucky enough to experience rapid growth right out of the gate.  Fast growth can create its own set of challenges and working 24/7 can become apparent very quickly.  These businesses can find themselves constantly trying to play catch-up.  The key concern for these businesses is burnout.

We want to introduce you to Alycia. Because she had been growing quickly, she was finding it hard to keep pace.  While not a bad problem to have, it’s not usually sustainable.

Alycia's Story about working 24/7

“I started my business to help patients feel better.  The business is going great, but lately, I find that I’m spending so much time doing all this business stuff and now I don’t have time to see patients. it’s not as fun as it used to be.  I’m beginning to resent being so tied to the business that I can’t enjoy life.”

With the explosion of dermal fillers and other anti-aging products, Dr. Alegra’s practice is currently growing dramatically. She is overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed. It’s all so new to her.  She was suddenly hit with all this “business stuff” and doing all sorts of tasks not remotely related to treating patients.

This is probably the most common problem we see. It easy to get overwhelmed with all the things that owners need to do because most professionals aren’t trained to do so. It’s easy to get caught off guard by everything that needs to be done to run a business well.

 

How We Helped Art

The front of the tile describes the problem. Flip it to see the solution.

Lack of Business Knowledge

Look, they didn’t teach you how to run a business in medical school or during your residency so how would you know what to expect? We told Dr. Alegra that this is one of the most common problems that we see. That's why we exist to help people like you. It was pretty clear where the issues lay: delegation, operations, and staffing.

Skills Inventory

This may seem a bit unorthodox, but every business requires a set of skills in order to function well. Rarely are all those skills found in one person. Furthermore, even if they are, no one person has the time to utilize those skills 24/7. We sat down with Dr. Alegra and started to build our classic skills inventory list. After which, we could go through one of favorite exercises, that we lovingly call, "keep vs. toss", the first step in delegation.

Task Hoarding

As small business owners, we are all are task hoarders. Some are more, while others are less. It's human nature. This is our baby, and no one will care for it as well as we do. While that may true, almost no one can do all the tasks required and not feel burned out after awhile. Dr. Alegra was no different. She was doing everything. But, she couldn't and she shouldn't do everything well.

Keep vs. Toss

How can you choose the right tasks? There are crucial responsibilities that are best handled by you. What are they? Anything else should go to your support staff. We started by asking Alycia make a list of everything she does each day at work. Then, we asked her to mark each as critical vs. not critical. We used the analogy of ‘keep’ vs. ‘toss’ when cleaning out a full closet of clothes. The key thing is to challenge yourself or have someone else challenge you to justify why each task is critical. On that same list, we asked her to mark those she felt she was good at doing vs. those she was not.

Hiring the Right Staff

Hiring is one of the toughest jobs that a new business faces. Do I have enough money? Will I make the right choice? What if it doesn't work out? The list goes on. It is a source of much anxiety. Dr. Alegra had those same concerns. However, since we did the keep vs. toss exercise, we know the skills and jobs that were needed. Therefore, it was much easier to write the job descriptions and hire people with right skills.

Building Job Descriptions & Hiring Plans

First, we took a piece of paper for each employee that she had. On that piece of paper, we wrote down what we though were that person’s skills, strengths, and weaknesses. We looked at each non-critical task and tried to match them to an employee asking ourselves: Does the employee have the time/capacity to take on more work? Is the employee skilled enough to perform the task well? Does the employee show the potential to learn to perform the task well? This makes it clear as to who was right for which role, what training is necessary, and where we needed to hire.

Results

After we completed this 1 day workshop, we had achieved:

    1. Alycia’s job descriptions
    2. Her key employee job descriptions
    3. Job descriptions for hiring

 

Following the workshop, we helped Dr. Alegra recruit staff to fill the vacant positions, and we provided software recommendations for automation.

Once the people and systems were in place, Dr. Alegra was able to focus the majority of her time treating patients

Dr. Alegra has a thriving practice, and she has since expanded to two locations. We helped her with her expansion as well. We are thrilled that she is doing well and feeling rewarded.

If you’re business isn’t quite like Alycia’s, please take the Business Assessment to be directed to a guide that is right for your business, or you can always contact us for help.