Who’s The Boss? Don’t let your business manage you.

Do you manage your business or does your business manage you? A lot of small business owners actually struggle with the difference between the two. Below are some tall tell signs that your business is managing you.

  • You wake up stressed every morning thinking about the business
  • Nothing gets done if you are not around
  • Even though you say you trust your staff, you’re always looking over their shoulders
  • If you had to or wanted to leave for a few days you don’t know who to leave in charge
  • You’re the only one responsible for sales (bringing in new customers or clients)
  • You’re the only one who understands how the business works as a whole
  • You don’t trust that your staff will ever meet your expectations
  • Your indecisive and often change game plans
  • You don’t have written policies, procedures, or job descriptions
  • You don’t have a defined and duplicable sales process
  • You don’t have a measurable way of reviewing your staff’s productivity and effectiveness
  • Employee turnover is high
  • Customers/clients always expect more out of you than you planned on providing

It is really hard to be honest enough with yourself to actually admit to any of the above issues, but let me encourage you to be brave. A business that manages you will eventually overtake you and destroy everything in its path, including itself. You owe it to yourself to take a hard look at the above list and find ways to improve your relationship with your business. If you are not willing to admit your areas of weakness they will continue to put a wedge between you and your dreams.

If you really want to be the manager of your business you need to run it with purpose. You have to be in control, but oftentimes that means empowering others.  A person who manages their business understands that managing does not mean holding the fort together. It means leading your organization to thrive. You have to set a powerful vision and solid standard and then hold your team accountable to your expectations and your plan. Most managers forget the accountability part of their duties. Instead of instructing and motivating their team toward a higher standard they simply do it all on their own.

If your business is managing you, you will miss opportunities to grow and you will miss the best part of business ownership. Remember the core reason why you started your own business. You wanted flexibility; you wanted to create your own destiny.  Well, somewhere along the road your business became the boss. It is time that you take back the captain’s chair. What you must remember is the most effective businesses will run without your hands on everything. Take the time to surround your business with process and structure. If you don’t mold your business it will mold you.

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Mark Zarr

Mark Zarr is a writer, graphic designer, and a marketing and communications consultant who works with businesses, churches, and non-profits to improve their branding, marketing, and communication strategies. Utilizing his 15 plus years of business management, marketing, and design experience he helps organizations of all sizes grow and achieve amazing results by standing out from the crowd through great design. He has an MBA from Liberty University and is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Business for Boise State University and Pueblo Community College. He currently lives in Colorado with his wife, Rachel, and their two children.

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