If, after reading part one and part two in this series, you’re starting to see the value in better understanding your financial performance, then we’re in a good place to move forward. If you’re thinking, “Sure, that all sounds good, but there’s no way I have time to put this much energy into tracking and thinking about my money—nor the ability to pay someone else to do it,” then you need to stop and reconsider. A relationship with your numbers is a key ingredient of your success, but there are some tools you can leverage to reduce the technical work significantly.
If you’ve ever had the thought that you weren’t a good leader or didn’t know how to be one, you’re not alone.
Business owners rarely go into business for themselves in order to become the leader of a company. In truth, most are looking to secure a “job” where they can provide their product or service free of a boss. This orientation—the Technician’s mentality—inevitably creates a business built around their own ability to produce results. It’s the orientation of the vast majority of owner-operated businesses, and it has obvious limitations. You alone can only get so much done. You can only stretch so far. You can only produce the results that you can produce.
In The Beginning
If you’re like many of our clients, you had a picture in your mind when you started your business of what you wanted to do. You could clearly see how your first office or store would look. You imagined your customers and employees. You saw yourself in the center of it all. You understood that it would be hard work, but what you dreamed for your future would be worth the sweat equity you’d put in for the first year or so.
Or so you told yourself.
Whether you know it or not, the business you have right now, with all of its imperfections, could be your path to the life of your dreams. Your business is supposed to serve your life, not the other way around. Unfortunately, most of the time it doesn’t work that way.
Do you ever ask an employee for something you requested several days earlier and get a puzzled look? Or get the response: “I didn’t know you wanted it today.” Or even more baffling, the employee tells you: “I don’t know how to do that.” These are the kinds of answers that cause many owners to hesitate when delegating.
This is the first installment in helping you fully develop and implement Org Charts and Position Agreements, which support a culture of ownership within your business.
There is a certain point in every business when you realize you need to organize your people more effectively. And it can happen with as few as five employees—although it’s even better if you recognize the need when it's just you, the owner.
This is the season for planning for the new year and we’ve been talking a lot about it. If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late to create your Annual Plan. We have a six step process to get you there. If you really want your business to look, act, feel and perform differently a year from now (Is there anyone who doesn’t?), then plan for it, put a stake in the ground, take in what the past year—or your entire history—is showing you, make a commitment to lead your company in new directions. And then act, small step by small step.
As an owner of EMyth and its Board Chair, this is a meaningful time for me. October is National Women’s Small Business Month. My 35th anniversary at EMyth is a few months away, having spent the first 17 years building the company into a global brand with my former husband, Michael Gerber, EMyth’s founder and best selling author of The E-Myth Revisited, and the last 10 years as its Board Chair.
The day you decided to stop working for anyone but yourself was probably glorious. No one to tell you what to do and how to do it. Life suddenly had promise, imagining yourself spending every day doing the work you’re passionate about. Until… until the day you realized that instead of your boss dictating how you did one thing, now you had a dozen things coming at you that you weren’t counting on and, frankly, didn’t know how to do: sales things, customer things, employee things, money things, production and delivery things. And, the saddest thing is that you found yourself with as little control over your time as you had before you went into business for yourself.