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A woman managing her business and home is tired of travelling between Bangalore and Coimbatore on a regular basis as she can’t get anything else done. How would you deal with that?
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I am a business owner in the apparel space, running a garments export business catering primarily to the European markets. While I work out of Bangalore, most of my team is based in Coimbatore, which is also where our design and manufacturing unit is located.
For family reasons, I shuttle between Bangalore and Coimbatore and increasingly, I am finding that very stressful. As a mother of two children who are settled in school here, it’s not practical for me to move base at the moment but our industry is such that there are often unplanned crises that need me to go to Coimbatore suddenly. While we do have a design head and a production supervisor based locally, I still find that some decisions are hard to manage unless I am personally present. I am not sure whether they don’t feel confident of taking such decisions or how I can equip them better to manage unplanned situations/crisis.
At the same time, I often feel like I am constantly in the middle of handling things without a plan and as a result, not able to focus on expansion plans or even work in an organised manner towards any goals.
Do you have any suggestions on how I could manage this better?
-The entrepreneur has chosen to stay anonymous
At the outset, pat your back for having taken-up the challenge of managing a team remotely as well as balancing a healthy family life. Balancing home and work can get demanding, especially when there are kids involved in the equation.
As a woman leader you’re always going to have your plate full, either with work related responsibilities or managing your family and home. If you want to manage things better, start delegating work to your team; entrust them to make independent decisions and take on more responsibility.
Delegate some power to your design head and production supervisor. Gauge their strengths and weaknesses, allot work accordingly and trust that they will do a good job. If you don’t believe in your own team, no one else will.
We build trust in our teams by first training them to take more responsibilities. They will fail or never do as good a job as you initially but over a period of time they will become better. Trust me!
While I understand that you’ve been running the show in a manner that has worked for you all these years, you need to know when to let go and let someone else steer the ship every once in a while. Until then, don’t expect 100% results. And in the process, if something goes wrong, keep contingency plans in place. Thing is, a team will eventually yield high-quality results but it’s a gradual process. So be patient; it takes time to build great teams.
Here’s a final thought for you- take advantage of technology to communicate and coordinate with your team instead of heading to Coimbatore on every occasion. Learn to work remotely and still get your work done. Think of it like this: when someone is expanding their business, they cannot always rush to multiple locations at the same time, right? I’m just telling you a few things that have worked in my favour.
Hope they work for you too!
Picture credits: Pexels
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