I have lots of conversations with business owners about what keeps them from moving their business forward. It often comes down to what my friend Jim Mc Hugh calls being stuck. Jim has identified nine common areas businesses get stuck.
I can almost guarantee that if you haven’t gotten stuck in your business, it’s going to happen. It happened to me and I can’t think of another business owner that it hasn’t happened to.
It’s one of the main reasons that one on one mentoring might be right for you.
All businesses have inflection points.
Most businesses have a point in their life where they stall. You might have experienced this yourself. The stall might be the business gets out of control or you just don’t have any capacity to grow.
It’s pretty easy to run a business that has five or fewer employees. You can keep an eye on everything and everyone. The problem comes when the work is just too much for five people to handle.
This is where you have to hire more people and you can no longer look over the shoulder of everyone all of the time. Mistakes happen and you start to feel like you’re out of control.
It’s based on the number of employees you have.
This inflection point is never based on how much sales your company produces. It’s always based on how many employees you have.
I want you to go back and read that last sentence again. Yes, it really is about how many employees you have. The more employees you have, the more complicated your business is going to become.
When you look at businesses like Microsoft or Apple, they had advisors who had been through a fast growth curve. They had people who could help them think through the changes the business and owners would have to make.
What about you? Do you have those advisors you can call on? If not, then finding someone who’s been there and done that is important.
Start with the word trust.
As your business grows, you’re going to have to learn to trust those you work with. You’re going to want to make sure you hire people who have your best interests at heart. You want to be able to trust that those you work with always have the best interests of your customers.
This means you’re going to need a hiring process that allows you to quickly develop trust with new team members you add to your company. Without this system you’ll likely make horrendous hiring mistakes that’ll keep you from trusting any new team members you bring on board.
How do you handle mistakes?
Even if you trust the people you work with allowing mistakes is also something you might have a hard time with. Let’s face it we all make mistakes. Organizations that don’t allow mistakes still have them. The mistakes are just hidden until they blow up into a major problem.
If you can develop a culture of trust where mistakes are not only tolerated but celebrated, you’re putting your company in a position for growth.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you just let mistakes happen. When someone makes a mistake, you must ask this question, “What did you learn?” After asking this question the answer has to be something they learned and not a problem someone else caused.
Without this step you’ll have mistakes, but no learning will come from them. Learning from mistakes allows you to develop systems and document changes. This is what lets your business grow.
Too often business owners will one day delegate too much, trust too much and let too many mistakes appear in their company.
Start small. If you do too many things at once I can promise you one thing, it won’t work out and you’ll stop.
Make small experiments. Let someone in your company do something you’ve always done. Help them document the process. Help them learn from their mistakes. This will give you confidence to trust and delegate more.
Delegation is a skill and like all skills you’ll need to make mistakes and learn from them along the way. How does this sound to you?
Be kind to yourself and your staff.
Your tendency is going to be to beat yourself up when learning the skills to run a bigger company.
Cut yourself a break and be kind to yourself. While you’re at it, be kind to your staff as well. They want to do the best they can. As you develop the skills to manage a bigger company both you and your staff are going to have a pretty high learning curve.
If you don’t feel you know how to navigate growing responsibilities in your company you might just want to think about getting a coach or a mentor to help you along the way. It’s something we do and if your company is the right type it can bring you a big return.
If you want to learn more about our mentoring program, set a time to talk. I can promise you one thing. You’ll get at least one actionable idea from the conversation.