If you’re a female entrepreneur, you know that business success doesn’t come easy. While there are countless rewards and advantages to running your own venture, it also requires hard work, dedication, juggling multiple tasks at once – oh yes, and the dreaded bottlenecks! With so much on our plates already as entrepreneurs, reducing (or eliminating!) those time-gobbling bottlenecks should be the top priority.
After reading this article you’ll know how to understand why bottlenecks may pop up in the first place, learn how best to unclog them from the source, and see what measures are best applied so that bottlenecks no longer block progress.
How? All with my proven formula.
So let’s dive right into it!
Getting Rid of Bottlenecks
Essentially, a bottleneck is anything that’s slowing down your business’s growth or operations. Bottlenecks in business operations and growth can be an absolute nightmare! Too often, they get overlooked, but if you don’t get rid of them in time, these pesky tasks will become an even more significant problem down the road. In other words – get rid of bottlenecks or get ready to get bottlenecked by them!
I’ve created a formula and use it about once a quarter in my business. And I’m sharing this with you right now to ensure you can get rid of the hindrances to your success!
First Step: Identify the Bottlenecks
So first things first, grab a piece of paper, and draw this up. It’s very simple.
On the left-hand side, in the first column, we’ve got the bottlenecks. What you need to do first is make a list of the top five bottlenecks that have been slowing your business down. Only five. No more than five. I want you to write down your top five bottlenecks in this first column.
Which are the biggest? It could be the fact that you’ve been avoiding doing sales calls. It could be that you can’t pump out a course quickly enough or finish the new program. Or maybe your Facebook ads need to be fixed to get you more leads.
Or maybe there’s something that you just keep pushing to the bottom of the list that’s really important and you’ve been meaning to do it forever but you still haven’t. It’s usually something on your list that’s nagging you and has been there for ages. Write it down.
Second Step: Uncovering the Mystery Behind the Bottleneck
Uncovering the mystery behind a bottleneck is no small task. Finding out what is causing it, why it exists, and how to get rid of it may all be hard to answer. Often, bottlenecks occur when there is too much work for too few resources, and time constraints limit the ability to complete tasks on schedule. So, let’s try to simplify the process. In the second column of your paper, in just one sentence, write the summary of why that bottleneck is happening and why is it so hard to get it done, ticked, and sorted.
Now, once you’ve done that, get ready to look at how it’s happening.
Third Step: Diagnosing the Bottleneck
This column is a really easy one. The “how” column is basically looking deeper into the bottleneck and diagnosing why it became a bottleneck in the first place. There’s only one of three answers to how.
Let me list them down for you: A. You don’t have the skills, B. You don’t have the interest or C. You don’t have the confidence.
So what is it? Is it skills, is it interest, or is it confidence?
Fourth Step: Addressing the Bottleneck
Now, once you’ve diagnosed the real reason for the bottlenecks, the final step is to figure out what you’re going to do about it. You have a couple of options for this step. Let me explain each one of them.
So if you wrote “Don’t have the skills” in this column, you’ve got two options: To learn the skill necessary to finish the task or to delegate the task to someone already equipped with the skill. That’s it. If you’d like to learn, great! But also remember that takes time from you, so be sure the time it’s taking is worth it.
If you’ve chosen “Don’t have the interest”, the only thing that you’re able to do is to delegate it. And that’s totally fine. You must delegate it if you don’t have the interest. And that really is the perk of running the show. You do not have to do what you don’t want to do. Delegating can be great for getting your spark back into work when you’re only doing what you love doing.
If you choose “Don’t have the confidence,” you have two options. You could own it and get a mindset coach or delegate it. You’ve got to figure out, “am I going to own it and make a change?” If not, that’s okay, but you have got to choose to delegate it. Otherwise, it’ll never get done. You can be your own enemy on this one. Be sure you don’t let your own mind prevent you from delegating the task the same way it’s taken your confidence from completing it.
(Optional) Fifth Step: Drop it
There may be something in this bottleneck list that’s been on your to-do list forever. And if you genuinely feel like you don’t really need it to grow a successful business… Then it’s time to drop it completely.
For example, I’ve been meaning to do a podcast for so long. It’s been on my to-do list forever. But you know what? I’ve deferred that in my business because I don’t need that to make money. I’m not letting it become a bottleneck or something that I’m going to waste my time focusing on.
So if there’s anything on your list that isn’t mission critical to you being successful, it’s totally okay to defer it. It’s okay to say, “You know what? I’m going to stop letting this be a bottleneck that’s distracting me and slowing the business down.”
Now, it’s now time for you to get to work! List out your bottlenecks, and give yourself a quick one-sentence summary as to why they’re occurring. Then decide, is this because you do not have the interest, not having the skills, or not having the confidence to finish this? Finally, when making the decision, are you going to own it, delegate it, or defer it?
That’s all for the bottleneck audit!
No one likes dealing with bottlenecks, but they’re an inevitable part of business. The key is to be proactive about finding and fixing them. By writing out why that bottleneck is happening, you can save yourself a lot of time and headaches down the line. Then, once you’ve diagnosed the problem, you can figure out what your next steps are – delegating or deferring it. Whatever you do, don’t let the bottleneck get in the way of your productivity!