Small Business is hard work. You don’t have the resources of the enterprise and you have the same needs. I often have conversations with small business owners/CEOs and these conversations often go the same way. That is, the owner is overworked and the team is working hard, but they aren’t as profitable as they should be, and they aren’t growing as fast as they should be. Does this sound familiar?
The 3 Things the Small Business Needs.
First, small business needs a strategy. A strategy including where they want to go, and how they are going to get there. This sounds simple, but it’s hard work and often the strategy that small business has is, “work harder”. A strategy is need to create focus and team alignment. It also defines how the company will differentiate themselves in the mind of the customer. You can’t be everything to everybody. Without a strategy, a small business is merely bouncing from one problem to the next without looking up to see the real opportunities.
Secondly, the small business needs management. The company needs someone who can manage the key activities of the business. Often, this is the CEO/Founder’s role and it distracts from what he/she should be doing. I often see CEO’s who are great subject matter experts and rain makers, but they aren’t all that proficient at management. In fact, they suffer, and their team suffers as a result. The bigger issue, however, is that it takes the CEO away from developing opportunities and cultivating the outside. In a perfect world, the company would be build around the skills of the Founder/CEO and functional expertise would be added to supplement his talents. Often, however, the CEO merely adds helpers who don’t have the expertise or experience.
Third, the small business needs a control system or an information system. A passive approach to bookkeeping is inadequate. A control system is a method or a tool to measure results and coordinate activities. This can be a CRM, or an operating system, or maybe a processing system. These tools are readily available and will provide a way to manage activities and measure results.