You may be laughing as you begin to read this article…. “I can’t just TAKE a holiday..there’s no one to run the workshop!!”.
And I get it. Most auto repair business owners I speak to complain that their business can’t run without them. That’s not them blowing their own trumpet either. It’s a cold, hard, fact. They can’t step away without it causing a drop in trade, or some other issue that only they have the skills to rectify.
If you fall into that category, you are there for one reason. You’ve failed to systemise your business so that it doesn’t need you to function.
This usually is a result of you spending 99% of your time working inside the business. When you still work some of your day on the tools, some ordering, some estimating, and some speaking with suppliers and customers, and the rest putting out the fires that only you can fix (or so you think), there is virtually no time to take a big picture view of your business.
You don’t have the vision to see that you acting in this role is harming not only your business, but you personally as well. You are probably much closer to burnout than you are willing to acknowledge. By pushing yourself to the edge of your capabilities each day, for months and months on end, even years, you risk serious health issues. Some of these issues would already be in play, like poor sleep, and a compromised mental state.
If you have read this far into the article, you are probably wondering what I have on offer to rectify this situation. I can tell you there is no quick fix, special pill, or one day wonder that can lead to you being able to step out of your business to enjoy some much needed downtime.
But the great news is that you can get closer to achieving that downtime by starting the systemisation of your business today.
Systemisation takes time, both to implement and for you to consider how it should be done.
The first things you will need to do are:
- Create a leadership void for one of your team members to step into: This involves you releasing the strangle hold you have on all things in the business. You might be a control freak, but that has led to you micro managing everything and everyone. STOP IT! Ask your team who is willing to take on more responsibility, and go from there.
- Make sure each team member has a clearly defined role and position description so that when you aren’t there, everyone is clear on their expectations. (If you don’t have those, contact me).
- Begin an operations manual that clearly outlines the day to day running of your business: This is the big one. Auto repair businesses that have policies and procedures are more successful than those who don’t have them, and sell for more than those who try to sell without one. Why? Because they become the training manual for new team members, and the instruction manual for a new owner who needs to get up to speed, quickly.(If you aren’t sure where to start, contact me)
- Book a holiday: You need a goal to work towards. Studies show that taking a holiday will actually improve your ability to function at a high level in your business. We know what happens to you when you don’t take one, but introducing even two weeks per year, throughout the year, will keep you motivated to smash through the work weeks, knowing that a nice big rest is coming up. It is important that when you are on holidays that you rest, relax, and trust that the procedures and processes you have put in place will serve your business well. You may still take the occasional phone call from your business, but these will become less the more you encourage your team members and leaders to be solutions focussed, and not just come to you with problems.
I personally realised the value of multiple mini-breaks throughout the year when I first organised a quick getaway for my husband and I to Hamilton Island in Australia’s Whitsundays in 2014. For the first time in a very long time, I saw my husband exhale, and relax like I couldn’t have imagined he would in such a short space of time.
We were only gone for three days, but the workshop ran just fine based on the procedures we had put in place, and because we had created a void for 2 of our team members to grow into and become leaders.
I was so inspired by this break that I immediately wanted to share a similar experience with my clients. That is where The Workshop Whisperer Annual Conference on Hamilton Island was born.
We’ve been spending 4 days there each November since 2014, combining some kick-ass business education with much needed downtime, and the part we all love the most, hanging out with like-minded auto repair business owners who are going through exactly what you are. They want the same thing you do….for all this hard work to amount to a better life for them, and their kids.
If you are going to take my advice and book a holiday, why not join us this year on Hamilton Island? You can get your business back on track, and have that break you so desperately need.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. If you know you need to systemise and need help, don’t delay in contacting me here
Have a great week!