10 Jun 2010

Why Owners Become Prisoners to The Business

It’s no secret, most business owners at one time or another feel like a prisoner to their business, employees and customers. Their business and life feel out of their control.  They feel trapped.  But what are the common causes of such business owner bondage?  How do the chains get tighter and tighter?

Based on the thousands of business owners, managers, and professionals The Growth Coach franchise system serves each and every year, the five most common causes of business owner imprisonment are as follows:  (1) busyness, (2) technical tendencies, (3) ineffective leadership and delegation, (4) inadequate or missing business systems, and (5) growing business complexities.

Many owners confuse activity with accomplishment.  They confuse busyness with results. Hard work with smart work.  Perspiration with purpose.  Efficiency (doing things right) with effectiveness (doing the right things).  Instead of working smarter, many owners hold tight to the delusion that working harder and harder is the solution.  They keep trying to shift into higher and higher gears.  The more the business grows, the harder they work, the more imprisoned they become.  No matter how much energy you expend, however, wrong strategies inevitably lead to poor results – less freedom and more headaches.  Sadly, many of these owners confuse working smarter (less hours but focused on more important matters) with laziness. As such, they would rather be busy than developing better ways to be productive.

Technical Tendencies:
Your habits determine your destiny. Too many entrepreneurs are former technicians now masquerading as owners.  They think they are entrepreneurs, but they don’t act that way.  As one-time accomplished technicians and doers (i.e. painters, caregivers, etc.), they have a hard time letting go of such expertise and familiarity.  They remain trapped in a technical comfort zone, mindset and work approach.  While such technical expertise is sufficient for performing a job, it is totally insufficient for building and managing a business.  Moreover, such owners fail to develop the visionary, strategic, and leadership skills necessary to run a successful business.

Ineffective Leadership & Delegation:
Far too many small business owners are by default small leaders.  Instead of leadership, they excel at doer-ship.  They are micro-managers that like to touch and control everything.  They trust no one but themselves.  They believe “no one does it as well as me.” They seldom delegate, if at all.  They mistake busyness for business leadership.  Instead of thinking and leading like owners, most think and behave like employees.  Instead of reflecting and planning, they excel at sweating and doing.  They act like they have a job instead of own a business.  To lead effectively, one must trust others.  Not developing their leadership potential costs them dearly, less freedom and more headaches.

Inadequate or Missing Business Systems:
A vast majority of owners don’t know how to design a new business or re-engineer an existing one to be more systems-oriented and professionally equipped with plans, procedures and policies.  As a result, entrepreneurs don’t create and document the processes (specific and repeatable ways to do something), procedures and policies that allow for well organized, smoothly running, easier-to-manage companies.  Without defining and documenting the specific work that needs to be done, owners can’t delegate effectively and escape from the technical trenches.  As a result, owners are forever feeling “out of control.”  Tragically, most entrepreneurs have unknowingly, reactively and accidentally created an owner-centered and owner-dependent company.  They are trapped!

Growing Business Complexities:
A growing business with its increasing number of customers, transactions and problems will eventually crush a business not properly designed and prepared to handle such growth.  Without effective leadership and adequate business systems (an integrated web of processes), a growing company does not stand a chance.  Growing pains are unavoidable.  Producing predictable and consistent results will be nearly impossible.  By failing to plan for growth, they are by default planning to fail.

These five common causes lead to a life sentence of working on the chain gang – your company. Fortunately, our business coaching process, along with your willingness to change, can serve as your “get out of jail free card.”  With proper coaching and on-going support and accountability, you can elevate your knowledge, mindset, skills and habits.  You can elevate beyond these five problem areas.

With our proven and guaranteed business coaching process, we can help you to escape the “business owner blues” and the tired existence of technical busyness.  You will no longer have to be the jack-of-all-trades for your company and carry the full weight of the business on your shoulders.  Growing pains will subside.  You will learn to be master, not servant.  To lead more and work less.  To shape your company by design, not by default.  Ready to bust out of prison? If so, contact one of our business coaches today.

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