Improving My Business – The Small Business Challenge Part 1

Improving My Business – The Small Business Challenge Part 1
Monday, March 26th, 2012 Scott Bossart

As you can see, I will choose my weekly blogging to be updated sometime over the weekend. This is the next installment.

Managing a small business requires a vision and a global mind set.  Having a vision for the organization is also extremely important.  This should not be merely a dream or a wish to the heights you hope the business grows towards.  Instead it should be a future state containing a somewhat clear picture the business is directed forwards to.  There has to exist a future point or opportunity and a path or road map to get there as well.  It is important to establish a vision with a determination that will drive and motivate you and the rest of the organization.  There has to be a purpose and role within which each facet of the business fits.  Each job, task, function, process, method, etc. should be on that same path towards the vision or future state.  Your vision for the organization must be understood in clear detail for everyone.  If the vision is not fully understood, as the leader and driver of the business, you will waste valuable time micro managing different facets and department in order to keep your vision moving forward.  An instructor once told me a long time ago, you need to make sure every person in the organization is pushing on the same wall to move it forwards.  If everyone is pushing on different walls or even opposite walls, slow to no progress will be made.  If everyone puts the effort into moving the same object at the same time, the object can be moved fairly easily and with consistency.

With global, I do not necessarily mean the entire world, however this too can apply depending on the type of economics you are dealing within.  Global thinking within your organization means to consider all aspects of what comprises your entire business as well as how each one interacts or is interdependent on the other.   Another key ingredient to constantly remind yourself as a business leader is, your work staff will raise to the standard you set both for yourself and them.  The success of the culture you establish within the organization will only rise to the level of the lowest performer.  If one person or group is does not perform at the level required for sustainable growth, other entities, departments, or individuals must pick up the slack…if they are even able to.  This ultimately leads to frustration levels which if not immediately, eventually affect the overall business.  Consider when providing pricing to a customer, there are many factors to consider which are required to provide a final product.  If excesses, due to low expected performance, are always being added from a lack of confidence in one particular department, person, or group performing below the realistic expectation, the price will be higher than necessary.  This higher price could lose the customer.  Or more over, even the flip side, where as the price is underestimated hoping everyone performs to expectations with one department routinely not up to par the job or product could end up being a loss.  It is important to establish the expectation with each entity, department, and even each person in a realistic manor.  Hold each to that standard and you will provide consistency in your process and product thus facilitating other aspects of the business.  When issues arise, discuss it.  Make certain you fully understand what is being asked as well so you can gut check to see if your expectations are realistic.

                In the end, there are two things to consider when running small business.  First, have a vision that is clearly thought out and well communicated throughout the organization.  Be mindful that every views things from a different perspective.  Just like in art, everyone will see and interoperate a sculpture depending on their perspective.  No one’s perspective is completely wrong, just different than yours, possibly.  So be clear, ask questions, and routinely follow-up to ensure the vision is well understood.  Secondly, establish a realistic expectation and hold people accountable for it.  That doesn’t mean kicking butt and taking names but applying skillful coaching, facilitation, and guidance to empower all facets to perform to that established level.  That is not to say in some cases, with a realistic expectation, persons, people, or departments chose not to live up to it, you might have to take names and kick some butt….figuratively speaking of course.  Collaboration and communication can be the best used tools for a successful business.

Stay Well

Scott B.


Leave a reply