I talk to business owners all the time who are at wits end, feeling like they can’t keep going the way they’re going. On the outside, everything seems to be good because the business has achieved a certain level of success, the business owner has a handful of employees, and the daily fight for survival is in the rear-view mirror.
But on the inside, the business owner is going crazy, the employees are frustrated with the owner’s micromanagement and customer problems are starting to surface as the business owner can’t keep everything straight in his head anymore. Things are slipping through the cracks and everyone knows it.
This is actually a good thing. Why?
- It’s better than fighting for daily survival;
- The business is showing signs of growth potential;
- The business owner is realizing he or she must let go, to a certain extent.
In short, it’s a good thing because it signals you’re ready to grow.
I was recently talking to Tiffany, the owner of Purposeful Play. Her business is growing rapidly, as of about six months ago. I asked her what changed, what happened to open up the growth stage she’s in. She said, “I let go and turned a bunch of things over to my employees, because I had to.” When I pushed her on it, she told me she just couldn’t do it anymore. She got to a point where she knew, in her gut, she either needed to trust her employees more and let them do more of the work, or she was going to go crazy or out of business. She opted to turn more over to her employees. Her marketing director, with a big smile on her face, was by her side as we talked.
Tiffany’s story is very common, especially for stage three entrepreneurs who have a few hundred thousand in annual sales and a handful of employees. If the business owner will trust her employees and let go, just a bit, the business will hit a growth spurt. And the business owner and employees will all be much happier.
SBS Idea of the Day: Are your employees feeling like you’re micro-managing? C’mon, be honest. If they are, you likely have a growth opportunity right under your nose.