Blog

Working Harder isn’t Working!!!
20 Oct 2021
by Shane STark

What can you do when sheer will and brute force are no longer enough?

As a business owner I've experienced first-hand the challenges that come with trying to do everything myself and the impact it has on the business, my employees and my family.

In his book “Traction”, Gino Wickman does a really good job of explaining the 5 common frustrations most business owners face:

Lack of Control

You don’t have enough control over your time, the market, or your company.  Instead of controlling the business, the business is controlling you.

People

You’re frustrated with your employees, customers, vendors or partners.  They don’t seem to listen, understand you, or follow through with their actions.  You’re not on the same page.

Profit

Simply put, there’s not enough of it.

The Ceiling

Your growth has stopped.  No matter what you do, you can’t seem to break through and get to the next level.  You feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next.

Nothing’s working

You’ve tried various strategies and quick-fix remedies.  None have worked for long, and as a result, your staff have become numb to new initiatives.  You’re spinning your wheels, and you need traction to move again.

Like many business owners you’re kept awake at night worrying about a 100 different version of the above 5 challenges, so to remove some of that worry, let’s define the 6 key components to focus on that will make your business easier to run.

Vision

Does everyone in your organisation understand what you are trying to accomplish?  We have all heard the story of JFK and the NASA janitor.  Whether it is true or not (and I really hope it is) it is a great allegory of everyone in the organisation understanding their role in the bigger picture.

People

You can’t build a great company without help.  The reality is that not everyone is helping your business.  It doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of them, but we need to find the right role for them.  By taking a step back and assessing the overall structure, you will be able to put the right people in the right seats.

Data

The best leaders rely on a handful of metrics to help manage their business.  Putting financial and non-financial  scorecards in place frees you from the pain of managing personalities, egos, subjective issues, emotions and other intangibles.

Issues

What are the obstacles that must be faced to execute your vision?  What gaps are there in your organisations abilities, knowledge, markets, processes or location that are holding your business back.  Get them all out in the open and discuss them honestly to learn how to eradicate them.

Process

Have you documented the way you want everything to be done in your organisation?  Ask yourself honestly if you would have complete faith in your team if you went on a 3 week holiday, that they could run the business without you checking in every day.  By building the blue print and training everyone to follow it, you will enhance trouble shooting abilities, reduce errors, improve efficiency and improve profits.

Execute

Create accountability with your team and break the bigger picture down into bitesize chunks.  Folks will lose sight of the bigger ambition, but if you give them 90 day targets then that is a finish line they can keep in sight.  Trust everyone by delegating the workload, but verify regularly that what you are being told is true. 

Change is scary, but maybe a shift in thinking is the way forward.  Changing from believing that you are your company and letting it become its own entity.  With the right vision, structure, and people in place, your company can evolve and realise its full potential.