Let’s face it – most training is only designed to do one thing – make you better at what you do. More efficient, faster, and better on the Job.
Most of the time, training – as its sold to business owners – is not about making them better entrepreneurs. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that some of the biggest “coaches” in the entrepreneurial sector don’t train better owners, they simply create enable new people to buy their training.
What about actively exercising the entrepreneurial muscle? Making it stronger? In a world filled to overflowing with efficiency ideas, apps, and podcasts, here’s five things to work on:
- Understand what it is you want to actually do. Sure, this seems easy, but it isn’t! Most, if not all, small business owners started out as owners by proxy – the situation feel into their laps, such as it was. If you never took the time to set your goals, then how can you ever reach them? Put those goals on paper and keep them where you see them every day.
- Build a system, not a schedule. Again and again, I’ve heard it – a small business owner who has their time carefully laid out to handle tasks within the company. The tasks are the last thing that you need to be working on! Design the training system, design the hiring system, design the retention system, then use them to get the people into the positions to do the jobs that need to be done. Don’t try to make 28 hours in a day.
- Build the system that you can review. At least once a quarter, you need to be able to look into the metrics of your company. How many leads need to be generated to close one sale? How many potential clients need to be spoken with to convert them to paying customers? What is the actual value of a client over a month? A year? Without data like this (and much more!) you can never effectively direct the course that your company is taking and you have no hope of being able to change it if you have no clear guides.
- Look for efficiency, not just brilliance. In every action that your staff takes, be it responding to emails or following up with customers, there are going to be strokes of brilliance. Sales people that seem to always close the deal, customer service reps that always take care of the client. As the owner, you have to not only recognize that, but look for ways to incorporate those pieces into every transaction and conversation.
- Be in it for the race, not the sprint. Building a company is not a short-term process. I’ve often argued that the only company worth building is one that can actually effect change on a world-class basis, but understand this: if you want only short-term success you are better served simply working for someone else. If you want to create something of real value, then set your sights on building systems that replace you.
Is this all easy? No, and no one said it would be. In the end, though, when you have created something that has changed lives and industries, what better satisfaction can you have from the company that you envisioned and then executed?
That’s what entrepreneurship is all about.