It’s Not Your Fault Until It Is

Small Business Owner Questions Culture

I had some recent conversations with small business owners. All looking for ways to improve an area of their business. The conversations had to do with Sales, Profits, Processes, Customers or Teams. I thought it was interesting, how the conversations and questions came back to teams.

The fact is you can’t grow your business alone without sacrificing another part of your life.  I’ve seen many make sacrifices in their personal life at the expense of their family to turn their business dream into a reality. 

At some point you realize you need a team. Even if it’s adding one person. The biggest mistake owners make is not focusing on their culture. You start with an ad and then work on getting the systems and processes out of your head and documented. These are important steps by not without defining your business culture. Culture is like a magnet. It will attract the right people and repel the rest. Mastery of your business culture will give your business a competitive advantage by making it healthy. (Profitable, Sustainable and Enjoyable)

I find that most owners look outward to make changes when it comes to their team. They usually mention at least one of these areas they would like to improve.

  • Communication
  • Accountability
  • Motivation

 I challenge you to look at this differently. Start your culture journey by looking within. Small business owners have lots of areas they are responsible for. How you show up every day is your choice.

As Owner and Leader

  1. How is your communication? Not only at work but in life. What do the closest people to you say about your communication style? To have a higher level of communication your team needs to be able to discuss things with you. Talking at people or telling them what to do is not communication. Communication involves listening.
  2. How accountable are you? It’s easy to set goals but having a process to achieve them is very different. It’s easy to create habits when your starting out that end up not serving you, your team or your business.
  3. What motivates you each day? You already know what drives you. Motivation is internal. Don’t focus on motivating others. It’s short sighted and you will be continually looking for the next thing.  Your mission and vision will inspire the right people for your team.

Start with Your Core Values

Write them down and live them each day. At the end of the day look for instances where your core values showed up. How would you rate yourself? How do they show up when you’re under pressure?

Assign Outcomes

Most new leaders or business owners will assign tasks instead of outcomes. By assigning a task, people will naturally come back for the next task. When you assign an outcome, people take on the responsibility to get the job done.

Your business will grow as you, the owner grows.  Whether through podcasts, books, blogs, trainings, articles, accountability partners, mentoring, consulting, training or coaching you will discover the “you don’t know what you don’t know” areas in your business.

You will always be learning and building skills so it’s not your fault, until it is your fault because:

  • You’ve identified the challenge
  • You know how to solve it
  • You don’t act on it

Fear will hold many owners back from implementing and achieving.  Have you ever created a story around your fear, justifying it, while another business owner did what you were afraid to do? We’ve all been there personally and professionally. Don’t allow the thing that is holding your business back, be you.

As a business owner and leadership coach/speaker, I learn something every day from my team, customers/clients, peers and suppliers/vendors. These insights help me to better serve my team, customers/clients and community. The relationships I build, fuel me and my continued passion to serve trade business owners, the trade industries and the good people in it. You can do the same for your business. (Subscribe to receive my weekly ‘In The Driver’s Seat’ emails) where I share business insights, tips and advice.

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