How to clone yourself in business

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Do you sometimes wish that you could clone yourself in business so there is more of you to go around? You are not alone. When you are the product and there is a great demand for that product, then it’s time to look at ways to get more of you or more out of you.

1. Save more of your time

  • Identify tasks that take up time that you don’t need to do.

Look at the tasks that eat up your time and keep you away from the job. It might be answering telephone calls and making bookings or doing the invoicing or paperwork associated with the job.

  • Use technology to help you

Identify how those tasks can be completed in a more time effective manner, such as utilising cloud technology to do invoicing on the spot, or outsourcing the tasks to someone else. A message service, virtual assistant or virtual office can easily handle answering calls and making appointments.

You don’t have to miss any urgent messages, as they can be texted through to you without constant interruptions. If you spend a lot of time answering questions over the phone, use your website as an information tool that answers many of the commonly asked questions. Having a FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page can be helpful to customers and can also save phone time.

  • Outsource tasks to others

It can be challenging to let go of tasks — we business owners often feel we are the best person to do everything! As a guide, hang on to the tasks that your customers expect you to do, such as solving the problem and offering advice, and outsource the ones that they don’t necessarily expect you to do, such as bookkeeping.

2. Duplicate yourself through quality staff

  • Employ people just like you

One of the greatest fears business owners have about hiring staff is that the staff member won’t be as good as you and customers will be disappointed. A way to reduce the likelihood of this happening is to recruit people who have similar experience, expertise and values to you.

  • Train people to work like you

If they are hard to find and you have less experienced staff, invest in training your employees to do things the way you do. Recruit staff who share the same work values as you, as it’s easier to teach skills than values!

  • Allocate your staff to new customers

Explain clearly why you undertake certain tasks and procedures and how they are important to the customer. Document these procedures, and invest the time training staff to do things your way — it will pay off in the long run, and customers will experience a consistency of service regardless of who is doing the work.

Make the transition gradually for existing customers, as you don’t want them to feel ‘bumped.’ Always speak positively and with enthusiasm about the new staff member, and personally introduce them to your existing customers. Give new customers to the new staff, and ensure your best customers can still have access to you (if that’s their preference).

3. Keep the original in good shape

Finally, as the original from which the clones or duplicates come, it’s vital to look after yourself. You are still the number one asset! Continue to invest in yourself, ensure you maintain your health and take holidays to reduce stress.

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  • Great advice, Ailsa! I particularly needed to hear that little bit about outsourcing tasks that clients don’t expect you to do. It’s a good way of working out what to keep and what to ditch!