Many small business owners think that if they just work a little harder, things will get better and their business will grow. But in reality, working harder is not always the answer. It can actually run people directly into the ground if the work is not the right kind of work. This is especially a threat to small business owners.
Lessons For Small Business Owners:
Often times, business owners may know what they want to accomplish, but struggle to communicate that with their team of people who have no clue how a business works or how to become engaged in the business. As a result, the team does exactly what they are told, and nothing more. There are endless amounts of employees that are hired for a job, come in and do the job, and collect their paycheck, and that’s it. This is not the kind of team dynamic that creates grow within a business. In order to overcome this, managers can use metaphors or other means of communicating to get their team on board with their overall vision.
Handlebars Are For Steering:
As kids, when we ride a bike, we don’t like to use the handlebars, we like to stick our hands in the air and let the bike go whichever direction it pleases. That kind of unstructured chaos is fun when you’re a kid, and when the direction doesn’t really matter, but it’s not so fun when it’s your business and it’s being steered directly into the ground. Paint a vision of your future and where you want your business to go, plant your hands firmly on the handlebars, and then steer yourself there. You have to set standards for what you expect, and then have a cause or purpose that everyone can rally around and get excited about that’s bigger than just making you a successful business owner. It happens all too often that owners just want to have a successful business, without having properly defined the vision of where they want to go. This is the equivalent of removing your hands from the handlebar and throwing them in the air.
The Frame That Holds Everything Together:
In business, you have to have a structure or a framework, just like how a bike needs a frame that holds all of the pieces together. It’s the organization’s structure, the roles and responsibilities of each position, and the accountability system that makes up the framework of the business. Without these, there is nothing to hold the business together, and it will fall apart, just like a bike would without the frame. It’s important to note that it’s not a one size fits all frame, either. It largely depends on the kind of business that you’re in and the customer that you’re going after.
Where Rubber Meets the Road:
There are only two places on a bike where the rubber actually meets the road, and it is the same with business. The front wheel is like the ability to win new customers, which includes the marketing and sales side of running a business. The back wheel is the ability to serve those customers, and deliver on the promises that were made by the front wheel. Sometimes there is a tendency to focus on the front wheel, and the business and marketing side of things, but it’s important to make sure that you have the follow-through. You need two wheels to move a bike, and you need both of these dynamics in order to run a business.