Seedling planted in ground, to represent growth

How to use a role chart to achieve long term goals

It’s often difficult to set long term goals for your business – let alone plan for the day when you can extract yourself from the daily grind.  There is a solution and it’s called a role chart.

Smaller, more immediate goals like increasing profitability and income start with tangible things – sales figures, costs, amount of sales per employee, amount of stocks required and so forth.

But what about your ambition to have the business support your lifestyle, rather than becoming a slave to the office?  How do you work out a plan to extract yourself from the business?

Well there is a solution, and it’s called a role chart. It’s like an organisation chart except you aren’t listing people and jobs, you are listing different roles.

Imagine all the different hats that you wear during a typical week and map them into a chart that shows how you work on marketing, sales, HR, operations, finance and the many roles within each of those that you perform.

It’s like playing a game – you start at the bottom, which is where you’re spending most of your time anyway, and then you work your way up, employing your way up the chain so eventually you can cross off more and more boxes.

Here’s an easy way to do it:

Step 1

First of all, think about your business if it was 10 times the size that it currently is, what are all the jobs that would be involved?  Marketing manager, accounts payable, accounts receivable, HR manager etc. By stretching it out to over 10 times the size it makes it easier to visualize the various roles.

Step 2

Arrange them into an organizational chart.  Most businesses have the following common areas, but you may have some that are different as well. Marketing, sales, operations, admin, finance, HR – draw them up, just like an organizational chart.

At the very top, add the General Manager, and above that, the Directors. Label out what each of the roles are and underneath each of those boxes.

Step 3

Identify the main top three tasks for those roles. Always start them with a verb [“doing word”] for example: creating invoices, following up quotes, packing deliveries.

Step 4

Then get someone to type it up so it looks good.  You can use Visio, PowerPoint, Word. Get someone who knows how to use any of these to do it for you. Then print off a copy and look at it.

Step 5

Highlight all the roles that you are currently doing using a highlighter. Next, use a thick red texta to cross out the bottom three roles that you need to shift yourself away from.

Focus on these three exclusively – employ people, train your existing people up, systemize or outsource, whatever you need to do. Work unceasingly to clear these off your plate and choose your next three.

Shift yourself up the ladder, that is the name of the game.

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