‘Designing Strategies’ eNewsletter
Volume 14 Issue 75
If a typical day at your small business involves staff waiting for you to come into the office so they can get your approval of progress on a project, it’s not a good thing. If employees are standing in line to get access to you to answer questions, that’s not good either. Odds are your firm is in Stagnant Stalemate mode. Your firm is not growing. It is not expanding. Staff can’t accomplish anything because you have a death grip on control over every little minute detail of operations. Give it up! You have become the bottleneck blocking our firm’s progress. It’s time to give up some control in order to grow your small business.
If you are the type of person that likes to garden, you know that plants need fresh air and sunshine. If you want them to thrive, you nurture them and allow them to grow. If the sun, rain and fresh air are blocked out, the plants will wither and die. The same things apply to control and your small business.
Entrepreneurs can start a business on their own. It happens every day. At start-up and in the early stages of a small business, solo-preneurs can manage operating the business alone. You started the business. You own the business. All decisions are yours to make. You have control over every aspect of that fledgling business. For a while, you can keep your company going, but not necessarily growing.
But, there comes a time when the solo approach no longer works. You will reach a stage in your business when progress and growth come to a screeching halt. The business has grown, sales have increased and you are serving more customers. There are so many more choices and decisions to be made. You may have hired one or two assistants to help you handle business operations and sales. Typically, those early hires are your attempt to grow the business.
In an earlier blog post on 5 Important Stages of Small Business Growth, it was noted that in the Survival Stage entrepreneurs begin thinking about bringing some help on board. What is generally not done, however, is to pass on power and control. Without yielding some of that control to others, your company will enter Stagnant Stalemate mode.
If nothing can be done without your personal blessing, no growth will occur. Your company will be a little bit larger than it was when you set up alone. More customers, more sales and maybe a more stable bank account. You now can afford a couple of employees to help out. But as far as stable, sustainable growth is concerned, it is not going to occur until you realize the need to give up some control. Empower employees to move the company ahead without stopping endlessly to ask your permission to take some action.
To grow that stable, sustainable small business, you need strategies, systems and procedures in place to support a growing entity. It is also important to develop strategies to grow your employees. For them to be useful members of your team going forward, valued staff need to be nurtured as well. A little air, some sunshine and a good dose of fertilizer should do the trick. If that doesn’t work, hand some level of control over to them. This is the only way they will grow, mature and expand their skill levels.
Why Giving Employees Control Helps to Grow Your Small Business
- Human beings have a deep need to feel they have control over their lives – even at work.
- Having control provides a level of satisfaction and happiness
- Empowerment motivates employees and improves their performance.
- Having a level of control reduces stress and frustration, improving worker morale and productivity.
- Happy employees provide better customer service.Happy, motivated employees are more loyal.
How to Pass on Control to Empower Employees
First, understand that there are likely to be mistakes made. It’s going to happen. If employees don’t make mistakes, they are not learning. There are organized ways that you can still retain some control, while empowering staff to make decisions. Try starting off with one or more of the methods of empowerment below:
- Staff training is important. Teach them processes to follow.
- Set Limitations: Set specific parameters within which the employee operates
- Give a clear description of the scope of work they will be given control over.
- Start Small: Set up opportunities for employee decision making.
- Monitor Progress: Create timelines that include deadlines and reporting schedules.
- Metrics help you evaluate success levels. Determine how you will measure success.
For your small business to grow and succeed, eventually, you need to add employees and empower them. That is the only way you will get where you want to go. Empowerment goes along with growth. Good employees can help you achieve the success you want, so take them along with you. Give them room to grow and a defined path that allows them to grow in the direction you need them to go. Be generous with praise as they achieve milestones. You may not have a lot of funds to dole out big raises or benefit packages, but words of praise and encouragement go a long way to building trust between you.
It’s time to develop strategies that include empowering employees to help grow your small business. Select projects and directions you can turn over to key employees. Let them grow and help you grow your business. The effort will pay off for you.
VISUALIZE — ANALYZE — STRATEGIZE
Your Small Business to Growth and Success
‘Designing Strategies’ is a complimentary business publication brought to you by Terri L Maurer, FASID, principle of Maurer Consulting Group. Maurer works with small business owners and managers to uncover barriers on their path to growth and success. For help growing your small business, you can contact Terri at 330.666.0802 or by email.