The Elephant in the Room for Small Business
Small business owners have a lot of things going for them. They get to multi-task, have a lot of variety in their workday; they get to be experts in marketing, sales, customer support, shipping … you see the pattern.
So many small business owners are busy, driven, confident and overworked; experts at keeping the plates spinning, good communicators, but also often micro managers. This leads to “I can’t take a day off, because the business would crash” syndrome.
The result is a business overly dependent on the owner. The equivalent of co-dependency can cause just as much chaos as it does for the lives of those around a sufferer. One reason this problem persists, is that most business owners don’t want to change what made them successful in the first place. Their multi-tasking, sword juggling, and tap dancing skills have run their course. The business is always on the edge, they are on edge, employees are on edge.
The elephant is in the room.
Sometimes a life changing event forces change to occur. However, some can see that something has to change, and it’s often tied around processes that run the business. Now many will contest that idea, espousing people run businesses and they make the difference. However, if your small business has these symptoms, then review your business processes and procedures.
- Everyone has a different idea of how to accomplish tasks
- We can’t train staff quickly enough
- Quality problems are affecting the business or organization
There is a reason that Starbucks trains all the counter staff to make the coffee one particular way or a Southwest Airlines flight seems more fun. It isn’t just about quality; it’s a consistent set of processes that make that brand somewhere customers want to go.
In your own business, whatever that business is, you want to leverage your brand and get customers talking about your product and service in a positive manner. I would submit the only way to make a business scale is to make the processes consistent so they are high quality, efficient and repeatable. So it really isn’t about having a different process, it’s about a better and repeatable process.
Take some time to look at your 10 most important processes in your small business. Then document them, analyze and improve them. You may be amazed at how you can make yourself indispensable.