When an entrepreneur is ready to evolve from “being the business” to “managing a business”, they face a significant shift in how their organization does business. This giant step goes beyond finding talent or financing, and touches the very core of how their product or service is delivered in the market.
• Communication within the organization can no longer simply rely on natural interaction and must be replaced by policies and procedures. Check out E-Myth revisited, by Michael E. Gerber for more.
• Customers engage with the whole organization now and the owner must measure key performance standards and results to assure that the company maintains its momentum.
• Transition is now to management which is a very personal journey requiring insight and counsel from credible resources. I suggest reading Mindset, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
This transition requires a tremendous paradigm shift and could be compared to changing a tire while it is traveling down the highway at 70 miles per hour. Where do I find the time to organize and manage when I already have a 100 hour a week job?
Here are a few suggestions that hopefully will open a dialogue with company owners that have gone through or are currently in the process of transitioning from being a “sole proprietor” to being a “business” that can stand on its own.
• Leverage technology to control your processes, automate your company forms “on-line” and connect the organizations processes to your clients and suppliers. For help here I suggest subscribing to the Visiam newsletter . The newsletter is focused on automation and recommends specific companies that are inexpensive like Constant Contact for newsletters, Provide Support for online customer service, and Qarbon for viewlets, tutorials, training etc.
• Outsource key professional services to providers that enable the business owner to concentrate on management. (Human Resource)
• Develop a process of marketing and sales that does not rely on the strength of the entrepreneur’s personality and relationships.
Your goal could be to increase profits, take a vacation, or sell the business. The answers to reach these goals are most likely the same.
Harold W. Larson is an experienced former senior executive with a Fortune 500 company that transitioned from the corporate world to small business. To accomplish this, he volunteered at SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and counseled small business owners for 6 years as Counselor, Chapter Chairperson and State Director. His Company Visiam offers simple, affordable and powerful automation that provides the operational and communication tools a small businesses owner needs.