The transition from small to medium-sized business can be a challenging time for a business owner, as you go from being in control of every aspect of day-to-day activities to handing over responsibility to others.
So how can you ensure you maintain the standards which have been central to the success of your business to date, while preparing it for the next stage of growth?
Here are my five steps to help you macro manage and not micro manage.
- Numbers don’t lie. Record and analyse how you have spent your time over the past week, and note the value of each activity to the business. You will find that some of what you are doing could be performed well by someone on a much lower wage. Your value is in strategic, big picture thinking, so ensure you make this part of your day-to-day work.
- Find good people. Finding and retaining the right employees is the first step, but you will also need to ensure enough time is spent in their training and mentoring so you build trust in their abilities. This culture will flow down your business and make it robust for future growth.
- It’s in your head. A classic sign of micro-management is confusion levels among other staff, as they are often not kept informed or given clear briefs. Time spent preparing your managers and employees for work saves much more time later in the process.
- Test then trust. Managing people can be somewhat like modern software development. Introduce in phases and test as you go, and implement improvements as you identify them. Give people adequate training and supervision, gradually handing them more responsibility. Eventually, you will be able to trust their judgement and will only have to test a small portion of their work to check standards.
- Say no to yes men. Business leaders tend to have strong personalities and it can be challenging for people to give honest feedback. Don’t manage with an iron rod, and accept that employees at every level of the organisation will have opinions and ideas which could benefit the business. Listening to people throughout your organisation will help you trust your own systems and processes, and identify any failings.
You need to put in place efficient systems and people and then you simply trust in your people and your systems.
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