Dear David: Growing your business begins with leadership

Home Columns Dear David: Growing your business begins with leadership

April 10/17, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 22

By David Romano


Dear David:

I just attended the WFCA University sales management camp. I learned more than I could have ever expected and received a ton of ideas to grow my business. Initially, I was worried about how the staff would take to the change but they all seem excited about a new direction. Now my biggest issue is finding the time to put into action all I have learned.

Dear Overwhelmed Owner,

Every business owner has felt the same way about making considerable changes. The difference between those who get it done and those who wish it could be done is willingness, strategy and trust.

First, you must be willing to step outside what is safe and secure and get comfortably uncomfortable. What you have done or are currently doing may not be the best way to do things, and you must come to that realization. Take the opportunity to implement the tools and systems you learned at the camp and be willing to implement ideas regardless of the hard work involved. Be willing to take some heat from the team when they complain that it requires more work or doesn’t make sense. More importantly, be willing to stop making excuses as to why there is not enough time in the day.

Strategy is where the doers are separated from the dreamers. I challenge you to come up with a way to allocate time each day to implement at least one thing you learned. And most likely that time needs to be spent outside the four walls of your company.

Moreover, I suggest you make working remotely a habit. You should take every other Friday to recharge, strategize and stay away from the store. Think about it: eight hours a week, 26 days out of the year, to get out of the weeds and figure out ways to grow your business is a lot of time. Recent studies have shown that when it comes to creative and strategic work, taking time to recharge and engage with influences away from work boosts overall productivity. Matching company annual revenues to yearly vacation days supports the conclusion that a reasonable amount of time to recharge and relax is necessary to grow a successful company.

Trust is where I see owners struggle the most. They normally fall into what is called the “confidence trap”—thinking they can do anything they set their mind to do. The truth is the stronger an owner’s belief in his ability to control the future, the less profitable the business. This lone wolf tendency is a major occupational hazard for entrepreneurs, since the ultimate success in business comes from building a team and learning how to gain control by growing that team. If you are still struggling with giving up control I ask you to think about raising your child; did you do everything for him until he took off to college? Probably not. The older he got the more you had him do things on his own to prepare him for life’s challenges. The same needs to be done for your team. It is critical you prepare them to function without total reliance on your efforts so you can have both a life and profitable business.

Gaining great ideas—like you did at the WFCA University sales management camp—is the easy part. Doing something with that knowledge is tough. Set your mind that come hell or high water you are going to implement your ideas, carve out the necessary time to get things done and stop doing everything yourself.

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