Let’s be honest: Building a business that doesn’t depend on you isn’t easy. It’s going to take lots of time, attention, and know-how. You’re going to be drawn into fighting fires you wish weren’t happening; you’re going to worry about having the right resources to create the right results; you’re going to have to make things happen that you don’t really know how to do. At times, you’re going to feel let down by the very people you depend on to free you.
If you’re fortunate enough to have taken your company on a journey through all of its highs and lows for 5, 10, even 20 years or more, chances are you’ve had those moments when you wished your business weren’t so damn dependent on you. No matter what you’ve achieved, most business owners know in their heart that if they walked away—whether for six months or two weeks—they probably wouldn’t have a business when they got back.
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.