Small business owners typically wear many hats – and sometimes not all of those hats fit. When a business is starting out, its often necessary for financial reasons that the business owner do everything themselves from acting as the accountant to salesperson to the operations manager to HR to the janitor… and everything in between. And in many ways, that’s a good thing: every entrepreneur should understand his own business, and what it takes to successfully perform each job role.
A popular TV show demonstrates just how critical it is that the CEO understand his company. Undercover Boss features a senior executive of a company going undercover and working at a low-level job to learn how things really work in the company. No surprise, things don’t always work the way senior management expects.
In many small businesses there is a similar issue with leaders not really understanding how the business should work. The owner started his business from an idea and built it into a reality. And years later, that same business owner is still running the business the way they always have.
Big businesses emphasize employee training and development at all levels, including the CEO and senior leadership. Small business owners often don’t invest in the training and skill development they need to continue to grow their business and operate it more efficiently and profitably. In fact, too often small business owners aren’t aware they even need training, because there is no one holding them accountable, such as a board of directors or the stock market.
Business leaders need to take a step back and analyze what skills they need to develop to benefit their company.
Leadership Skill TuneUp
Classes are available both locally and online for small business leaders to learn and develop the skills they need to take their business to the next level:
- Community Colleges offer introductory and advanced courses on a wide variety of business topics ranging from accounting to marketing to leadership to strategy.
- Executive MBA programs provide working executives with business, leadership and decision-making skills as well as the opportunity to meet and interact with leadership peers from the business world.
- Online courses bring learning and skills to your desktop at home or at the office, and are available for degreed programs or skill development courses.
2. Form a Board of Advisors
Every business owner reaches the point where they’re out of ideas, or need someone to bounce ideas off of. Inviting some respected and experienced business owners or executive to serve on your board of advisors is an effective way to get good ideas and expert opinions.
Other business owner and executives often welcome the opportunity to serve on a board of advisors, as it develops their own skills and is a strong addition to their CV.
3. Consult a Business Coach or Mentor
A business coach is an investment in your business’s future. According to Inc.,
a business coach can make you work harder and progress faster than you would on your own. From providing a much-needed ego check to helping expand your network, a business coach can give you both the tools and perspective you need to go from point A to point B.
An entrepreneur often has little time, interest or money to invest in self-improvement. But training and skill development are often exactly what a small business owner needs to take their business to the next level and thrive.