Many people are driven to open their own small business because of a specific passion.
Which means that very often you have business owners who are quite talented at creating their products or providing their services but have not had much in the way of business education.
That does not make them bad business owners – but it does mean they could be better business owners.
And being a better business owner is key to owning a better business!
There are 3 vulnerable points in any small business where problems occur: time, money, and team.
The Time Problem
The vast majority of small business owners that I speak to have one thing in common: they have too much to do, and not enough time to do it.
Or so they think 😉
Want to become a better business owner in terms of time?
You are the perfect result of your calendar, and calendars never lie.
What that means is…
If you’re not getting the results you want from your business, then it is at least in part about how you are spending your time.
Think of an elite track and field sprinter.
There is no denying that they are passionate about their sport and likely naturally gifted.
However, let’s say the sprinter says that they have set a goal for themselves to shave half a second off of their personal best.
But they spend their time looking for sponsorships instead of training for speed, they won’t get there.
So what should they do?
Hire someone, an agent, to look for the sponsorship deals so that they can spend their own time working towards their goal of running a faster sprint.
It is the same for a business owner.
You need to think about the results you want, what activities produce those results directly, and how much of that activity needs to be done in order to reach your goal.
From there you will be able to build out a calendar for each day, week, month, even year that will get you the results you want.
Everything else is delegated or takes a back seat.
When you set yourself up for success from the perspective of your calendar and managing your time properly, you get more results, and you become a better business owner.
The Money Problem
What you don’t measure you can’t improve.
That is true of everything, including results that produce your income – sales.
First things first: are you receiving regular reporting on everything that you need to know in order to run your business successfully?
If so, are you paying attention to what the reports are telling you?
You need to pull together everything that you need to know so that you can regularly analyze, understand, and take appropriate actions to improve your business’ performance.
Know the key performance indicators that need to be measured in order to assess how well your business is performing. Create a dashboard of those metrics.
Here’s the best way to determine your KPIs.
Think about what information you would need if you were only able to have a one-hour weekly conversation with someone in your business and that conversation had to inform you of what is working and what isn’t.
When you look at that dashboard you will be able to identify the activities that need to be ramped up in order to perform (i.e. make more money.)
You will also be able to reasonably forecast where your business will be financially one week, one month, one year from now.
Once you have an understanding of what is working and you have a forecast, you need a plan.
If you do not have a revenue & profit plan and an associated tactical marketing plan, you will be hard-pressed to get where you are forecasted to go.
You also won’t be sufficiently prepared to weather any economic storms that come your way.
The People Problem
Running a successful business isn’t all about money.
Proper business education means development of leadership, communication, and delegation skills.
And what happens when you lack those skills?
You don’t get the culture that you want, you get the culture you deserve.
To put it another way, the team that wins the Stanley cup is often the team with the best culture, not necessarily the most talent.
Want a team of the right people, doing the right things, right?
Show up with good leadership, excellent communication, and the ability to delegate the proper tasks to the proper people.
When you create a culture that doesn’t foster enthusiasm, high-quality work, and loyalty you wind up with people who won’t hunker down with you in times of hardship.
If you want people on board and with you for the long haul – become a better business owner!
Get them involved in understanding your values, your goals, and your strategic plan.
Foster open communication and ensure that each person is assigned to the areas in which they have the most to contribute.
Encourage their participation and help them learn from their mistakes.
Establish a proper team meeting rhythm.
Use daily check-ins, weekly huddles, and regular longer format sessions.
Allow everyone to share what is working, what is not working, and what needs to happen next.
When you involve your entire team in this way, you improve your culture and foster a drive to succeed.
You also end up with a well-oiled machine where everybody has a specific purpose and redundancies and inefficiencies are eliminated.
Fulfilling the ultimate purpose of your business
This is not an exhaustive list of the areas where you can further your business education, but it is a great starting point.
I’d like to leave you with a final thought.
No one was born to do business until they die.
You were born to live.
Your business is just the vehicle that allows you the time and money freedom to do so.
I help my clients become better business owners by working with them through the 5 Steps to Freedom.
You can learn more about the 5 Steps in my e-book: the well-managed business.
Or if you’d like to take the fast track to becoming a better business owner, you can consider business coaching.
You can book a 15-minute call with me here: Book 15 minutes with John.