Leaky Bucket Syndrome

Picture this… you are making money, sales are higher than ever, and the clients are rolling in.  Everything you have been working towards is finally coming true. Woo hoo!

But, to your surprise, it is beginning to feel like your business is sucking the life out of you. Strange things are starting to happen in the business that is causing you alarm:

  •       Instead of working less, you are now working 24/7 trying to get everything done, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and you have no idea how you got yourself into this mess.
  •       You have those middle-of-the-night moments, waking up in a cold sweat thinking, “OMG, did X get done? Yikes! I don’t think it did…”
  •       A client complains that you didn’t fulfill a commitment and they want a refund. You thought everything was great and you aren’t sure what went wrong.
  •       You realize that a team member didn’t do something that you emailed them about a few days ago, and now YOU have to scramble to get it done on time.
  •       You feel like you don’t know what everyone on your team is working on, and wonder if stuff is getting done at all.
  •       You are tired of everyone bugging you all the time with questions – why can’t they just do their work and leave you alone?
  •       Because so many to-dos keep coming up at the last minute, your team is starting to get seriously frustrated with a seemingly constant flow of “Urgent, need this now!” requests, and you’re worried they could leave.
  •       Your assistant is the only one who knows “how things are done around here,” and you feel trapped and worried that if she leaves, what happens then?
  •       You have a certain way that you want things to be done, but it seems like every time someone else on your team works on it, they do it wrong or miss key pieces.
  •       Your calendar is out of control. You have no more time to book anything, you’ve missed calls, and have even been double-booked a few times (which never used to happen!).
  •       You aren’t sure where the money is and have no way of knowing if payments are coming in on time (or not!).
  •       You fly by the seat of your pants, not sure what you are going to offer next and suffering from the roller-coaster ride of last-minute launches.
  •       There is so much work to be done – simple things like replying to emails – that you never get to the important things that could grow your business.
  •       Sadly, your spouse and/or kids are asking you why you are working so much, and may even be begging you to turn off the computer for once so they can spend time with you.
  •       You wake up in the morning dreading the day. What once felt like a lot of fun is now a drag.

The bottom line is that you are tired, frustrated, and starting to wonder what the heck you’ve gotten yourself into. It’s one thing to GROW a business, but it’s another thing to RUN a business – which is what many of us are unprepared for.

This is what I call the Leaky Bucket Syndrome. We focus so much on getting more into the bucket (sales, marketing, and clients), but neglect to make sure that the bucket itself (the behind-the-scenes of your biz) is strong & whole.

Because it is so easy to get into business these days, many people do so without knowing what it takes to run a business – all that behind-the-scenes stuff that many entrepreneurs find boring, confusing, or downright scary. And yet your behind-the-scenes business operations are ESSENTIAL to your success, and if you don’t put the right structures in place in your business, it will cause all kinds of chaos and headaches and can end up costing you a lot of money.

The good news is this: ALL of these things can be solved with the right systems and team in place.

The even better news is this: there are service professionals out there for whom building teams & systems is their superpower.

As a Certified OBM, this is how I support my clients – making sure the right things are getting handled, in the right way, by the right person. So you don’t have to.

You are in the growing-pains stage, and, with a bit of purposeful support, the pain part shall pass (even if it doesn’t feel like it right now).

If you’d like to learn more about plugging or preventing leaks in your bucket, I’d love to connect with you.