What is the key to success for a business owner with ambitions to grow?

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Business Leader Columnist Feature - Rob PerksThe above question is something that I get asked a lot, and my advice is always to write down an honest answer to the following three questions:

What percentage of your time do you spend as;

  1. The CEO or MD of your business, focusing on your strategy, your growth plan and new opportunities?
  2. The manager of your business, ensuring tasks are completed, your team are delivering as they should, managing projects, work and deadlines, trouble-shooting problems?
  3. The technician in your business, advising staff or customers on issues to do with your product or service, customer enquiries, problem-solving?

If a business is to grow in a sustainable way, the leader must spend over half their time as CEO/MD, with the more the better.

Why? Because unintentional growth will only last so long and is at risk from a competitor coming onto the scene, regulatory changes, political changes, changes in customer preferences, new technologies and a whole range of issues which need monitoring, neutralising or being factored into the Company’s strategy. New emerging opportunities need to be evaluated and either grasped or rejected.

Growing the team to allow capacity to take on new challenges or head off threats is a vital activity and only the leader can really engage properly and effectively with these issues.

That is simply not possible if too much time is taken up managing the daily activities in the business or solving technical problems. That might all sound logical, so why is it such a hard this to do for so many business leaders?

It’s all down to management – because so many things need managing.

The staff you have recruited just haven’t got the same determination to ensure things get done as you have and so they need chasing down to be sure customer expectations are met.

When any department gets too busy, who else is going to bail them out and cover the extra work?

Who will organise the work rotas and ensure that special delivery for the new client goes out on time if you don’t?

And then there’s the monthly information that needs to go to the accountant to ensure that salaries are paid on time and correctly; the holiday chart to monitor or else everyone will be away at the same time; and there’s that nasty complaint from an important customer to resolve or you could lose them.

And after all that, you’re still the most competent technician in the business. Wasn’t that why you started it in the first place, because you believed you could provide a higher level of expertise to your customers than the firm you used to work for?

Surely, you’re the most qualified person to give advice to customers. The team can handle the straightforward stuff but when a tricky case comes in, of course your expertise is invaluable.

When the machine breaks down, surely the right thing to do as the leader is to get stuck in and help find the problem and get it sorted?

The key is how to offload all the above in order to find time for the important business strategy stuff.

But with all that work on your shoulders as technician and manager, there’s little if any time, let alone money, for playing at being an entrepreneur or fulfilling the role of a CEO or MD.

If that sounds like you, then I urge you to consider that there might just be another way.

Why not make that date in the diary to at least come together with some other business owners just like you and just like us too and explore the possibility of finding the formula that can take you on that growth journey that is eluding you.

You can book here at www.inspirebiz.co.uk/events.

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