5 reasons shop owners don't have time
Many shop owners feel like they don’t have time to spend working on their business because they’re too busy working in their business. It’s easy to get caught up in your shop’s day-to-day work. However, getting your shop to run without you is nearly impossible if you don’t put strategic processes in place.
So, why don’t shop owners have more time to spend on their business?
Shop owners are too busy running the shop floor day-to-day. Whether it's planing wood or running the saw, owners spend too much time trying to get just one more order through the shop.
It’s easy to get caught up on the floor, but you’re not creating long-term value for your shop when you’re at the saw. If you want to remove yourself as the bottleneck, then the shop floor cannot be your main focus.
You’ve got to get yourself out of the mentality that you’re just hiring a heartbeat to fill your spot on the shop floor. Don’t waste your time training an employee who, ultimately, doesn’t want to be there.
Hire people who want to be a part of your operation. It may take time, but waiting for the right employee will save you time in the long-run.
It happens to all of us at some point: you call a customer for payment, and they tell you to pick up the check at their office. Chasing paychecks pulls us away from our shop. It’s a symptom of not having a standard operating procedure, or SOP, for collecting your paychecks. 
Every time that you have to call for payment or leave the business to pick up a check is time that could otherwise be spent improving your business. Put procedures in place to collect payments reliably, quickly, and with minimal effort. 
If you don’t have quality standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are continually improving and getting better, you’ll have a hard time getting your shop to run without you.
SOPs are a guideline for how to do specific tasks in your shop. They’re a great way to wean yourself away from the floor because they empower your team to run the day-to-day processes without you.
SOPs are not people dependent; they’re process dependent. The person doing a specific task can change without your shop melting down. If someone moves to a different area of the floor, is promoted, or leaves the job, SOPs make it easy for others to fill that role.
Delegation and outsourcing go hand-in-hand. Ask yourself, what’s your focus? What do you do really well? Where does your shop excel?
Is there a case to be made for outsourcing or delegating things that you don’t do as well?
Look at delegation as a way to leverage your knowledge. You know everything that there is to know about your shop. By delegating, you’re duplicating that effort and creating other experts. You’re giving someone else responsibility and helping your team improve their craft.
Delegation means both hiring great people and outsourcing what you don’t do as well.
Making more time to spend on your shop requires a mental shift. You have to decide that you’re ready to do things differently. It may not be easy at first, but the payoff will be worth it.
There are several articles and resources available on the website when you decide that it’s time to focus on your business. You can also reach out to me directly to learn more.

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About the author
Jeff Finney

Jeff Finney is the founder of Ultimate Cabinet Components, based in Collinsville, Oklahoma; 918-371-7171. For more shop insights from Jeff, check out his articles at UltCab.com or listen to his podcasts at thepushthru.com. Jeff is also a 2018 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 honoree.