How Not To Be A Micro-Manager

Episode 93 on Remarkable Results Podcast Micro-Manager

Micro-Managing happens when we feel that we don’t have control or are losing control of a situation or area of our business. It comes from FEAR.

  • Fear of not being seen as the expert
  • Fear of losing control of our brand
  • Fear from not understanding our role

The idea of allowing others to develop their skills sounds good, but to practice it is another story. It takes a mindset shift that happens when you (the owner) become more self-aware. Take note of how you react in different situations and how you show up each day. Then allow your team to be their best by giving them the resources needed.

Comment below or reach out with your questions or concerns.

Business Fundamentals

Don’t Overlook Business Fundamentals

Are you creating a sustainable business? One that is viable, continuous, worthwhile and supportable. A sustainable business is one that can operate without you being part of the day-to-day. This is a business that becomes manageable and sellable.

A sustainable business is what many business owners hope for, but hope is not a strategy. Is their day to day activity focused on achieving their dream? Clients and owners have told me that selling their business is their retirement plan, yet most owners will tell you they’re busy wearing lots of hats.  Too often what gets overlooked are the fundamentals.

Years ago, when I was in hairdressing school, one of the first things we learned about cutting hair was not to lose sight of your guide. It’s the first layer that you cut. It’s what will guide you through the rest of the haircut. Without the fundamentals operating and growing a business is more difficult and time consuming just like getting lost in a haircut would be without a guide.

What a sustainable business needs to focus on are the 5 Pillars of Business.

Marketing – Do you know who your ideal customer is or are you marketing to everyone?  When you are speaking to everyone, no one believes you’re speaking to them. Selling is more difficult because you don’t connect with or understand your customers problems. Do not fear creating an ideal customer and marketing to them.

Sales – It takes relationships to build the know, like and trust we all want before we buy. How do you build and nurture those relationships? Are you making the most of the opportunities available such as local groups and associations?

Operations and Technology – These are your systems and processes for efficiency and consistency. Many owners need to get this information out of their heads and share it with their team. Is your team involved in brain-storming new ideas? Technology tools can help.

People and Leadership – Do you value your team and customers? Are you open to new ideas and feedback? Is your business the one people want to work at? Your team’s skill set is a valuable resource.

Financials – Tracking the numbers in any business is important to its health and sustainability. You can adjust and make better decisions based on facts not guessing. If you’re tracking your numbers, you will know if you need to rethink areas of your business or services you provide.

You don’t have to be doing all of this yourself. But you need to learn enough in each pillar to delegate or outsource to the right people or company. Trust and verify. Have checks and balances in place. We’ve all heard the horror stories of owners who were taken advantage of by people they trusted with their business. Don’t allow those stories or experiences to defend or confirm doing it all yourself.  Instead of wishing business was easier, wish you were better and take the action needed to learn or revisit the fundamentals.

Start imaging what a healthy business looks like day to day. It’s Profitable, Sustainable and Enjoyable!

  • It understands its ideal customer and is attracting new customers
  • It confidently sells the value and quality services provided to customers and the community
  • It has the best systems and processes in place to for consistency and efficiency. 
  • It has a quality team who is on board with the company’s core values and is proud to work there.
  • It tracks the financial health making better decisions for growth

Does this mean there aren’t challenges? Of course not. Life is full of challenges. Change is inevitable, so enjoy the ride. Keep up with training, industry trends and updates, and personal and professional development. If the owner doesn’t grow the company won’t either.

Enjoying what you do each day makes all the difference. Gain control of your business instead of it controlling you. Being the owner means you are responsible for all of it.  By making your business independent you can leave as you need or want to, knowing that you are developing your team. 

A friend of mine recently said, “people who fear life don’t enjoy life. If you worry all the time, there is no time for enjoyment.” I say Control what you can, trust and verify the rest and enjoy life’s journey.

5 Stages of Business

5 Stages of Business. Your GPS for Success

We use the technology all the time. The purpose of a GPS (Global Positioning System) is location. You need to know where you are to be successful getting to your desired destination.

You wouldn’t take a road trip without a destination, a map, and a vehicle. Business success is achievable when we:

  • have a destination (goal or target)
  • have a plan to get there (strategy)
  • stay flexible and adaptable for the bumps in the road during the journey (action items)

It sounds simple and yet many overlook this idea in business. You see another business further along and wonder, what you can incorporate into your business. You try what others are doing and get frustrated. For some reason it didn’t work. You wonder what you’re doing wrong. The simple answer is nothing. That other business is in a different STAGE of business.

Business success comes from focusing on the priorities at each stage. It’s about sequencing.  Taking the steps needed to do the right activities at the right time. In the end we are all measured and held accountable to RESULTS.

As a Certified Partner of Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year™, we talk about the Five Stages of Business, which is an extremely useful model to look at the journey to grow any business. When I’m working with trade business owners my job is to customize the stages specifically to our industry.

5 Stages of Business

START UP – No consistent sales. You’re doing it all and creating habits that will not always serve you or your business as you next level.

RAMP UP – Sales are coming in.  You’re trying to keep up with the work. You don’t have enough hours in the day.

BUILD UP – Building a team.  You’re putting out fires. Everyone comes to you for answers

SCALE UP – You need leaders.  You’re working on getting the right people in the right seats.

LEADER UP – Your business is a Leader in your market.  You’re looking for new ventures and or opportunities.

If we allow ourselves to go from a (doer) or technician mindset to an owner mindset, we begin to see the bigger picture as we go through these stages. Many will get to the BUILD UP stage on their own, but it can take years. Most will benefit from outside training, coaching, mentoring or an accountability partner.

Knowing what to focus on at each stage will speed up your success instead of getting stuck and spinning your wheels for years.

  • START UP – Focus on: Validation of your ideal customers, offers and services.  When we market to every vehicle owner, we market to no one. Stand out!
  • RAMP UP –Focus on: Automation of marketing and sales. Gain hours back by simplifying with tools, outsourcing, and delegating.
  • BUILD UP – Focus on: Systems/Process/Technology for a team. Be a shop that is consistent and efficient.
  • SCALE UP – Focus on: People /Leadership   Develop Leaders. Take time away from your business as you need to or want to without worry.
  • LEADER UP – Focus on: Market Share / Acquisition Keep up with industry trends, opportunities and the relationships you’ve built.

The most common question I get asked from clients or from an audience when I speak on the 5 stages of business is: Why do I feel like I’m in more than one stage of business?

The simple answer is you’re getting distracted by focusing on activities you think you should be doing or because another business is doing them.

A personal example as a new parent would be, bringing home a newborn and focusing on their first bike and the best way to teach a child to ride. It’s not the right activity to focus on because another parent you know is doing that. They’re in a different stage of parenting.

An auto shop example would be a shop struggling to fill their bays [START UP focus] and they decide to work on systems and processes [BUILD UP focus] because that is what they heard another shop is working on.

The first shop (START UP) is a one or two-person shop and needs to validate their ideal customer and market directly to them. The second shop (BUILD UP) has a steady flow of customers but needs to have consistency and efficiency in their team.

There was a reason you went into business. Something motivated you. That reason is your why and it will change as you build your skills as a leader. It may have started out simply as a paycheck or to have security for your family. It will evolve as you transform from a (doer) technician mindset to an owner mindset. My point is, you took the hardest step. You started and that takes grit.

At the end of the day we all want to be building momentum to reach our goals.  When you lay your head on the pillow each night, knowing that you’re making a difference for your family, team and community makes for a restful sleep.

Understanding the 5 stages of business will help keep you focused on the activities that are the most important at each stage. Keep in mind that many can get to the Build Up stage on their own. With help from training, coaching, mentoring and an accountability partner you can next level sooner and reap the rewards of years not spent, spinning your wheels stuck, and deep down knowing there must be a better way.