The Business Expansion Article of Your Dreams:
Running your own business can be both exciting and overwhelming. Whether it is building your business, managing vendors or tracking sales and expenses, if these initiatives are not handled properly, running your business can become a daunting experience. Even if you do not have an entrepreneur network to tap into who can offer guidance and help to navigate through the land mines, your business can still be a success.
The sole business owner answers to no staff. They are the sole decision maker and bare all the responsibilities in the absence of investors or stakeholders. However, there comes a time when the sole business owner makes a decision if they want to make the transition to build a scalable business. This can include hiring employees for the various company roles including finance, marketing, operations, sales etc. Wearing multiple hats could be exciting in the beginning of the business life-cycle but after a while can contribute to conflicts and stress.
In speaking to sole business owners one of their key challenges to expand is the need for have the quality of trust. Trust is defined as reliance on the integrity, strength and ability of person or thing or displaying confidence. Some entrepreneurs take the leap to running their business because they want to have more control over their future. In situations whether handling poor management, winning and losing business or dealing with the threat of potential lay-offs, the sole business owner convinces themselves they are ready to embrace a new reality.
However, some entrepreneurs are cautious hiring persons when wanting to expand their business. It is difficult to handle all the various roles needed for the business to run adequately but do not have the trust to hire staff. Dealing with questions such as can they handle their respective role? What if they are incompetent? Are they qualified to handle their assignment? Are they persons of integrity? Although the list goes on and on, at some point there is a need to trust your employees and judgement as the entrepreneur.
Trust includes making sure there are adequate checks and balances built in the business but after checking references and providing good training at some point you must trust they will do their job. However, besides trust, good communication, training along with providing motivation and guidance is needed. The new employee must know organization does not need perfection, but the need to work hard to grow the company to their best.
In turn the business owner must trust the team, unless there is enough reason not to. We learn the ability to trust early in our lives. For some we may have trust and had a negative experience causing us be more cautious of others. I remember an experience early on where trust worked. I made the transition from training wheels to riding my bicycle with the two wheels. Although it was a while ago the day is branded in my mind forever.
I was riding on the side-walk and I could hear my father telling me to look straight and keep my hands on the handles. I kept looking down on the training wheels and looking everywhere else except straight ahead. When I began to trust what my father was telling me I realized I was balancing myself and the training wheels came off later that day.
Did I ride the bicycle perfectly that day? Absolutely not, but I learned to have trust. I fell off the bike many times after that occasion but I got back on the bike and kept riding. This experience illustrates the value of trust despite possible road bumps. If we decide we are ready to expand and build a scalable business, we need to have the quality of trust extended to our team. Adding procedures and controls can help mitigate the risk but nothing will replace trust.
Making the transition from the sole business owner to building a team can be accomplished and is rewarding. This should be done with both thoughtfulness and good planning combined with adequate checks and balances. Move beyond the business model of sole business owner if this is your strategy and have confidence that you will be successful.