How I Can Help Small Businesses
A few months ago I facilitated a leadership workshop for a local chamber group. Many of the participants were small business owners. The energy was just incredible during the workshop. There were lots of “AHA!” moments. After the workshop, the sponsor came to speak with me. He has owned several businesses in the area for several years. I was very interested in his feedback about the workshop. He told me that I really connected with the group and was able to give examples that they could relate to. He felt that because I am a small business owner myself, I could relate to the challenges and experiences of other small business owners, which made my workshop more effective than others he has attended.
I like telling this story because this gentleman really summed up the unique qualifications I bring as a consultant to a small business. I own a spa that employs 35 people in addition to my consulting practice. The challenges and experiences that I have had with this business has really contributed to how I work with small businesses as a consultant. I understand how small business owners think, what motivates them, and the risks that they have to take to get there. I use my own experiences of failure and success to paint a picture and help them apply tools and techniques that I have learned to get to success.
One question I am often asked by business owners is how do you have the time and flexibility to be a consultant when you own another business? They want to know my secrets for not constantly being chained to my business. My short answer is that it really comes down to training my team to run the business successfully and trusting that they will use that knowledge effectively. Of course, I also set up check-ins through daily reports, regular communication with my employees, and spot checks of operations that allow me to keep tabs on the business and ensure that we are going in the right direction.
I am a big believer in the teachings of the E-myth by Michael Gerber. The E-myth philosophy says to work on your business instead of in it. Business owners need time to focus on their vision and where they want the business to go instead of constantly working in the day-to-day operations. This is what I teach and work on with small business clients.
The three areas I focus on first with small businesses are:
1.What is your vision for your business? Where do you want it to go?
2.Who do you need to be on your team to get there? What knowledge and skill set do they have? What qualities are most important to you?
3.What systems and controls (what I like to call check-ins) do you need in order for your business to run without you and for you to keep tabs on what is going on?
By focusing on these three areas together, you will achieve success faster and find business ownership more rewarding.
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