Few people possess all the skills needed to run a business single-handedly. You can try to learn the skills you lack, but this is likely to take a lot of time and energy. In most cases, it’s impossible to master everything (hence the saying ‘jack of all trades, master of none’). Instead of trying to fix your weaknesses, sometimes it can be more advantageous to focus on your strengths and let others handle the aspects that you’re not good at.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is the first important step. Your strengths are likely to be activities that you enjoy. They’re the aspects of your business that people praise you for consistently. Your weaknesses meanwhile are likely to be tasks that you don’t enjoy. They’re the tasks that you’d rather not do if you didn’t have to, whether it’s selling over the phone or bookkeeping. Ask others what they think your strengths and weaknesses are if you’re unsure – it’s likely you’ll already know what you’re good and not good at.
Once you’ve got these strengths and weaknesses pinpointed, you can then start re-focusing your energy. Here are some tips for doing just this.
Delegating your weaknesses
Hire employees with skills you don’t possess
When recruiting new employees, look for candidates that can bring new skills to your company. If you’re not digitally savvy, this could include employees with coding experience or digital marketing skills. If staying organised isn’t your strong point, hire a secretary who can do these organisational tasks for you. Try to use employees to fix missing links in your business rather than do the jobs that you can already do. Staff are likely to feel more empowered and confident if they feel they are a valuable asset to the business.
Outsource complex roles
A cheaper alternative to hiring extra staff could be to outsource skills by paying other companies to do the job for you. This could include paying an accountancy firm to organise your bookkeeping or hiring a marketing company to do a promotional campaign. Outsourcing puts these jobs in the hands of professionals who have lots of experience, as well as more advanced tools to deal with the task at hand. It’s worth always shopping around to find the most reliable and affordable company.
Let professional advisors guide you
Another alternative could be to seek professional advice. You’re still in charge of executing the task, but you’re doing it under the guidance of experts. Popular forms of professional advice worth hiring include IT support, legal advice and financial advice. As with outsourcing companies, you should always shop around for consultancy services to ensure you get the most professional and honest advice.
Use software to automate complex jobs
In some cases, you may be able to let technology take care of your weaknesses. Certain software can automate various tasks including accounting, rota building and graphic design. There are also services such as WordPress that can allow you to build a website without any coding knowledge. Taking advantage of these tools could take the difficulty out of these jobs, whilst working out less costly than hiring or outsourcing people. Not all roles can be automated and there may still be times when you want a human for the job.
Honing Your strengths
Prioritise your strengths
In order to hone your strengths, you need to prioritise time to use them. Hiring new staff, outsourcing tasks and using software could help free up time wasted doing those less desirable jobs, giving you time to focus on the core tasks that you’re good at. If you own a jewellery making company, this could mean more time spent making items and designing new jewellery and less time having to complete admin tasks.
Build upon your talents
On top of putting your strengths into action, you should be always trying to improve upon them. If your strength is laying patios, don’t let yourself become complacent with what you know. Challenge yourself to learn new things about patios by reading books and blogs. Watch Youtube tutorials online to see how other people do it. You could even take a course to see if you can pick up anything new. Your competitors may also be a valuable source of information – they may use tricks that you hadn’t considered. Keeping doing research and you will slowly begin to build upon your talents and provide even better service.
Show off your talents
If you’ve got strengths, you may as well show them off. Make them a part of your marketing – if you’re owner of a restaurant and your strength is cooking pastry, start advertising your pastry dishes heavily so that more people order these foods. This could include advertising them more on your menu and getting waiters and waitresses to recommend them. You could even enter your pastry for an awards competition – an award will give you extra credibility. Similarly show off any positive reviews and comments that you get, displaying them as testimonials on your website and on billboards. Whatever your strength may be, you don’t want it to go unnoticed. Only by shouting about it will you get to make more use out of it.
Create a signature style
Eventually you may develop your talents into a signature style. This could be a sales strategy that works every time or a winning dish or writing style. A signature style gives you a unique selling point – it’s what every professional aspires to have. This should be your goal when honing your skills. Only by constantly challenging yourself will you find this signature styling that stands you out from the crowd.