Congratulations, you’ve done it. You’ve started your business born from an idea. You’ve spotted potential in the market and identified your target audience; you’ve sourced your suppliers and now you’re up and running.
One year on and the business is going well… in fact it’s going really well. So much so, that you barely have enough time to yourself.
Suddenly you’re working 7 days a week just to keep up and your quality of life is …. well… non-existent. Before you know it you’ve had to take on staff in order to meet the growing demand.
All of a sudden the business you started has changed. The dynamic has shifted from being that of a small start-up, to a successful company, complete with all of its pros and cons.
This is a crucial tipping point in any entrepreneurial venture and if it is not handled correctly, the business is doomed to fail. So why is this?
Grow with your business
Inevitably many businesses hit rock bottom purely and simply because of the entrepreneur. It is in fact challenging to make the transition from being at the ‘coal face’ of the business, to stepping back and leading from the front.
Often it’s because they’re in unfamiliar territory and are suddenly tasked with the management of other people and no longer just their business.
A study carried out by Lewis and Churchill (2000) explains five different phases of business growth and these are…
- Take Off
It’s argued that when any business moves into the third (successful) phase, the entrepreneur is often replaced or side-lined in favour of a management leader. If you are the entrepreneur and you don’t want to see yourself side-lined then you have to step up.
So how can you make that change happen? Here are some key points to help.
Understandably, you’ve been taking care of every aspect of your business from the start. You’ve nurtured it through the initial start-up and watched as your business has grown, and indeed thrived. You’ve been there every step of the way and you know it inside and out.
However, as your business has now reached a certain growth point, nurturing every aspect of it is an impossible task. Although it may be hard to let go, in order to move on, you simply have to delegate.
The reason for this is simple, as your business grows, you need to free up some of your time so that you can focus on other important areas that are associated with a fast growing business.
- Focus on business development
By stepping away from the ‘nitty gritty’ of the business and delegating certain aspects of the operation, this frees up time to allow you to do what you do best; focusing on how to grow your business and move forward.
By shifting your attention from the day to day intricacies of running a growing business on to business development, it will have a much greater impact on your business as a whole. By exploring new avenues, exploiting existing ones, checking out new ways to promote your business, and forging new business relationships, you’ll be far more geared up for success.
- Developing your employees
Putting the right staff into key positions within any company is crucial for a business to blossom. Developing those employees to carry out that role with your vision and your values could be the make or break of your company.
The skill of seeking out employees’ strengths and weaknesses and placing them in positions where they’re going to shine is one that as a business leader you simply need to have.
- Be the number one sales person
Leading by example is part and parcel of being a good business leader and you’ll need to set the standards that everyone else follows. Although you may already have levels of management and key staff in place, you still need to be the face of your business.
This means that you have to step up to the plate and be that number one sales person. You have to drive the business forward. The only difference now is that you’re no longer doing it on your own.
Making the transition from entrepreneur to business leader can be an incredibly steep learning curve, but one which has to be undertaken; especially if you want your business to survive and prosper.
- Become a successful leader
Working with a professional and experienced executive coach will give you the edge to make this transformation.
An executive coach will assist you to gain the leadership skill your company and your employees need and deserve.
Read our upcoming columns where we focus on each of the mentioned skills.
Nobody said an entrepreneur’s path to success is easy; but let’s just say that with the help of a focused and experienced executive coach, that road will just be much easier to navigate.