Liz Illg: “Spend Time Hiring the Right People “

Spend Time Hiring the Right People I see so many business owners hiring quickly and without thought. In those cases, you’ll see that they end up losing time, resources, and money when they realize that the team member wasn’t a good fit to begin with. I recommend taking time to get to know your potential team […]

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Spend Time Hiring the Right People 
I see so many business owners hiring quickly and without thought. In those cases, you’ll see that they end up losing time, resources, and money when they realize that the team member wasn’t a good fit to begin with. I recommend taking time to get to know your potential team member and really analyzing whether or not they’d be a positive contribution to your team.

As part of my series about the “How To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Liz Illg.

Liz is a multi-industry entrepreneur with brick-and-mortar businesses across Arizona and several online businesses including her own consulting business and boutique marketing agency. Liz Illg Consulting was founded when business owners continually asked Liz how she grew her storefront to multiple locations in a short amount of time. Liz attributes all of her success in business growth to systems, effective delegation, and strategic launch planning. With Liz’s background in business starting, flipping, and expanding, she’s mastered the method of scaling brands with launches that are unique and impactful.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

When I was 26 years old, I had a really great sales job in the corporate world and I decided to leave the comfort of that job and buy my first brick-and-mortar business. I bought my first grooming shop and in under ten years, I was able to grow that business to multiple storefront locations across Phoenix, Arizona.

After I created successful businesses, I started consulting other business owners that needed help growing their business with systems, operations, and business planning.

Fast-forward to now, my consulting business has grown so much that I’m now able to serve my clients with direct business consulting and I’ve also expanded into a boutique marketing agency.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Running physical storefronts is super challenging and I encourage any business owner who’s thinking about opening up their own to really do the research. From staffing to property management, there’s so many layers to running an in-person business.

I’ve never thought about giving up. I’ve invested so much into growing my businesses that I’ve always had so much to lose so failure has never been an option for me. When you believe in what you’re doing and you spend the time to continually improve your business, you’ll see the return on your investment.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

I think the silliest thing I’ve done and learned from as a business owner is spreading myself too thin to do all of the things. It’s a problem that I now help business owners solve in their own world but as entrepreneurs, we tend to think we have to be everything for our companies. From what I’ve seen in my businesses, I’m able to move my business forward faster when I trust in my team and they work alongside me.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I’m a business consultant because I was a business owner first. Not only have I started businesses but I’ve scaled them with strategy and my unique way of organizing and systematizing operations. In the world of business coaching and consulting, it’s so important to align yourself with people who’ve achieved the things you aim to achieve.

For my clients, I’m able to help them through their unique situations and business phases because I’ve gone through the same situations in my own companies.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Prioritize rest. I really encourage business owners to plan for rest and recovery time in their daily lives. So often, I hear entrepreneurs leave rest to the bottom of their to-do list and if you’re always busy, chances are, it’s going to be saved for tomorrow.

If you actually schedule time in your routine to rest and recharge your mind, the better you’ll be able to serve your people.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I completely agree. We all need help to get to where we want to be personally and professionally. For me, it’s my team. Since I have multiple businesses, I rely on my team members to make sure the operation runs smoothly and that my clients are taken care of.

In my companies, I’ve created special roles for my right-hand people. They’re the people that I can trust to run my business the way I dreamt, the people that are going to lead with the same values that I’ve promoted within the companies, like integrity and initiative.

There will come a day in your business where you can’t be the only one steering the ship. It really takes a village and I’m grateful for my village.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Delegating effectively is a challenge for many leaders. Let’s put first things first. Can you help articulate to our readers a few reasons why delegating is such an important skill for a leader or a business owner to develop?

When you delegate in your business, you’re protecting your role. Maybe when you first started your business, you had to be everything; your bookkeeper, CEO, marketing person, assistant, all of the things. As your business grows, bringing on people to your team to cover specialized areas will allow you to step into your dream role.

For me, this looks like consulting business owners and providing scaling strategy to small businesses. If I had to do all of the other things in my business like managing accounts, creating marketing materials, managing my team, and all of the other things, it’d leave me with no time in my schedule to spend the time doing the work that fulfills me.

The more you can delegate, the more you can serve your people with your zone of genius.

Can you help articulate a few of the reasons why delegating is such a challenge for so many people?

  • As many business owners will know, sometimes it’s easier to do it all in your business because you know it all. You know how your business should run, you know all the answers to questions, you know how your customers should be treated, so naturally you’ll want to do it all yourself.
  • But the ease of doing it all isn’t a long-term thing. You can only do it all for so long until it starts to wear you out and you start to limit your business’ growth potential.
  • If you can grow your team to support you in the different areas you need help with, you’ll be able to lead your business efficiently and impactfully and serve more customers.
  • If trust is an issue for business owners, that can keep them from delegating too. Not trusting the people around them to do the right thing in their business. I would say most times, that issue stems from not having the right systems and training to equip your team with the right knowledge. Having a solid team takes time, work, and it’s a financial investment but it’s certainly a business accelerator.

In your opinion, what pivots need to be made, either in perspective or in work habits, to help alleviate some of the challenges you mentioned?

If business owners are stuck in a zone of doing it all and not feeling ready to delegate work out, it’s probably because they don’t have their business organized in a way that makes handing off tasks, seamless.

I recommend taking time to write out your full standard operating procedures (no matter how big or small your operation is) and coming up with what your ideal role looks like. From there, create a list of things that you can assign out that either you don’t like to do or that you can have an expert take on.

If this whole process seems overwhelming, this is where hiring a business consultant would come into play. Having someone work with you to streamline your business and prepare for growth is super valuable.

Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.

  • Systemitize Your Business 
    Are you using platforms that make your business run smoothly? If not, make the switch. There are so many digital tools that can help your business run more automatically so utilize them!
  • Document Your Operations 
    From start to finish. What are your business daily duties? Who does what? How? Document every step of the process so that someone ever needs to step into your business to manage a part of it, they have a full synopsis on how it should all be done. If you don’t have documentation, you’ll spend more time telling people how to do things over and over.
  • Spend Time Training Your People 
    Some people often think that when you give an employee or contractor your standard operating procedures, you’re fully preparing them for their role and they’ll knock it out of the park. If you spend extra time with them actually applying your principles and teaching them “on the job,” the more independent they can become.
  • Spend Time Hiring the Right People 
    I see so many business owners hiring quickly and without thought. In those cases, you’ll see that they end up losing time, resources, and money when they realize that the team member wasn’t a good fit to begin with. I recommend taking time to get to know your potential team member and really analyzing whether or not they’d be a positive contribution to your team.
  • Empower Your People by Trusting Them
    If you’ve done the systematizing, documenting, and preparation to put people in the right places in your business, trust them in taking that direction and doing their job.
  • They’re not you and they’re not going to always do what you do or think but that’s the beauty of having a team. You have new ideas and perspectives to offer your customers!

One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the oft quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?

In my experience of starting and growing businesses in different spaces and industries and helping my clients grow in theirs, I can honestly say that this is not the case.

As leaders, we have to make decisions. Making decisions is one of the most challenging responsibilities we have as entrepreneurs. And being the decision maker and visionary for your business can be its own role.

When you have a team that supports you and allows you to be that visionary in your business, you’ll jump over mountains.

The truth is… I couldn’t do this all on my own and I wouldn’t want to. I truly value my team members because they’re so skilled and gifted, which inspires me to the best leader I can be to allow them to shine.

Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It would be remarkable if entrepreneurs normalized acknowledging their teams. So many times, we see business owners stand in the spotlight and the people that help them move needles in their business are left in the shadows.

Let’s normalize having a dream team and not having to carry the weight of the business world on your shoulders.

How can our readers further follow you online?

You can connect with me on my website, and on Instagram, @liz.illg!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

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