I admire every small business owner – from the risk they took to get started, to the creativity they have the choice to embrace each and every day… The small business owner embodies capitalism, freedom, and at its heart America itself. However, human nature is a strong benefactor and a stronger adversary. Recognizing our own weaknesses can re-energize our businesses…
Here are five challenges some of the small business owners I work with seem to face most often.
1. You let yourself be too busy…
“Even the ants are busy, but what are they busy doing.” Henry David Thoreau
So many small business owners tell me how busy they stay – and that busyness seems to prevent most small business owners from being productive. Time management is often the first skill the busiest business owners lose control over…
2. You accept less than outstanding work
“It is much more difficult to measure non performance than performance.” Harold S. Geneen
What you accept becomes acceptable, in life, in your home, in your business. You are doing an injustice to your business and your employees by not providing effective and frequent performance management techniques, from coaching to counseling…
3. You do too much of what worked before without knowing if it’s working now.
“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – John Maxwell
It’s only when a business owner can show they understand the return on their investments for each marketing activity that the business can effectively plan, innovate, and then replicate their successes.
4. You have too many people working below their pay grade.
“It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.” – Tony Robbins
Segmentation is the foundation of efficiency – right person/right function. The more functions we ask of a role, the more inefficiency will result. It becomes a process of aligning roles and tasks, then people with strengths, then finding the most effective way of assigning the remaining tasks (see below) with coaching, hiring, or outsourcing. Too many small businesses are not maximizing part time help or outsourcing to fill the gaps in their business, and instead are overpaying existing staff to work below their pay grade.
5. You stopped being a business owner and became an employee…
“Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.” Michael E. Gerber
Too often I see small business owners that got lost along their way… They lost sight of what they went into business for – their “hopes and dreams” for their business. Instead they started focusing on the hurdles they faced. They focus on finding excuses for their business, rather than bringing the daily energy and enthusiasm on which their business was founded.