Now that’s a scary statement for some people. Good staff is hard to find, keep and manage but if you really want to grow a business your have to have them.
Many of us start our businesses in the wedding industry because we are the creatives. As such we tend to keep everything in our heads or fly by the seat of our pants. Eventually it comes to pass that we can no longer do it all ourselves, then we are stuck. We have to trust someone, to do that we have to give them the tools and information to get it done. That can be hard.
The first thing I had to do was learn the importance of getting the information out of my head and onto paper in a way that covered all the details. Oral doesn’t work. It may be as clear as a bell to you but not to your staff. Now I grant you, I tend to be a jotter; my notes tend to be more a bread crumb trail than a clear recipe. That just doesn’t cut it. Your staff wants to do what you want them to do but you have to be able to communicate it to them clearly and with enough detail that there aren’t any unanswered questions.
Get into the habit of writing a work order for everything, even if you are doing it yourself. Ask your staff to help you in the beginning, seeing how they word it can be an eye opening experience. Try to get these tuned so they are clear for all parties that will be involved.
I also had to get used to setting up clear expectations on the who, what and when of a project. It was not enough that my staff knew what cakes were going out on any given Saturday, it needed to be clear what cakes had to be baked by whom and in what order to get them to the decorators in the order they needed them. I needed to know which cakes could be finished first and held and how long to expect each to take. Fillings and icing had to be scheduled so they were ready when it was time to assemble each specific cake. Once I set the expectations, I had to get out of the way and trust that when I needed something it was on the project work order and had been completed.
You see, it finally dawned on me that in terms of production, my main task WAS that work order. Once I learned to write it clearly enough and completely enough, what I needed done, got done. I guess in essence, the level of trust I had in my staff was a direct reflection on the level of trust I had in my skill to communicate on that work order.
As our businesses grow, our role within them changes. It isn’t always easy to let go. Try and think of it not so much letting go as grabbing hold of a different rung of the ladder.
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