The best thing about going into business for yourself is that you can do whatever you want. The worst thing about going into business for yourself is … you can do whatever you want. The point is, the freedom of becoming an entrepreneur also often brings the freedom to neglect responsibilities that no CEO or General Manager who reported to a board of shareholders would be able to get away with.
Many of the companies out there in the $3M to $20M range of annual revenues are just a few years removed from the start-up days of an ‘owner-operator’ situation. Opportunities were seized and growth came quickly. When this occurs with a single company owner, or even with two partners – the separation of the roles between ‘owner’ (board member, shareholder, etc) and ‘CEO’ (boss, GM, etc), is often not happening. Here’s the trouble with being the ‘boss’ and the ‘board’.
The CEO (you) is doing a lousy job because they ‘enjoy’ the freedom from the accountability, reporting, updates, and overall attention to results that the board would demand of them. The board (also you) is not really functioning at optimal levels either because it cannot remove itself from the clutter of reactive needs and issues, and truly take an outside (investor or coach) look at things. Also, the board can tend to be a little soft in its expectations of the CEO as it appreciates a little too much – hey that guy/gal is trying hard, let’s give him/her a break.
As CEO or boss of your company ask yourself weekly: ‘if I had one, or several, shareholders who owned 50%+ of my company, would they be satisfied with…’
- my sticking to CEO level tasks, or performing work appropriate to my pay grade?
- my yearly, quarterly, weekly, and daily planning?
- my cash flow forecasting?
- my budgeting, tracking, hitting, and reporting key targets and goals?
- my efforts and progress to streamline and systematize the entire company?
- etc, etc
As the owner/board of your company – ask yourself weekly is my CEO…
- in a proactive mode most of the time, always looking to grow the company as an asset?
- always ready with the written 90 day plans outlining key initiatives in all areas of the business?
- free to focus on results and growth, or stuck putting out fires?
- performing the way we need him/her to?
- etc, etc
In other words, would I be working harder for someone else’s dreams than I currently do for my own? Ouch. An easy place to start to begin to be a ‘better board for yourself’ is with the quarterly planning. Get in the habit of taking an entire day to plan the next 90 days, every 90 days. Your shareholders expect no less – even if that shareholder is you. That’s who you’re working for after all, right? The reason you got into business in the first place, right? You can do your 90 day plan in private or leverage the support of others in your exact same situation and book into our GrowthCLUB: 90 Day Planning Sessions.
If you are struggling with being the ‘boss’ and the ‘board’ and you want out of the situation: you can hire a CEO, bring on a board of advisors, bring on a coach, bring on shareholders/investors, or take the simplest step – start with the intense quarterly planning; you must find a way to chart the course. Your owners (YOU) deserve that respect.
Action Edge Business Coaching, a proud firm of ActionCOACH, opens our office doors every day to help Calgary business owners achieve more and thus move closer to our vision of World Abundance Through Business Re-Education.