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We all like the idea of having a trusted team to fully support us within our business. But, our business owner research revealed, management teams like that are hard to find, and even more difficult to align. The idea of a team that communicated effectively and is fully aligned can often seem very far out of reach. Perhaps because we don’t have the right people at the management table, or because our own next move is not always clear – due to a lack of planning, or strategic focus.

The fact is, UK business owners are not spending enough time on their business, rather they are spending a vast majority of their time in the business. This focus on the day-to-day is preventing business owner from planning effectively. And here’s the rub.

Failing to plan is planning to fail

A properly formed strategic plan can ensure businesses grow faster and more sustainably. In fact, our business owner research validated that business owners who are able to step back and focus predominantly on strategic planning are twice as likely to run fast growth businesses. Developing a fully formed, strategic plan ultimately frees up more time to drive towards a common purpose and innovate along the way.

Unfortunately, UK business owners are holding too tightly to the everyday functions of their companies, reluctant to let the management teams, who should be at the heart of the company, take their rightful place. The theoretical role of the management team is a far cry from reality – we found that nearly half of business owners are not confident that their business could survive beyond a single week if their team were left to run it.

One of the most telling findings in the research was a widespread fear of exposing vulnerability, with business owners refusing to open up to their management team regarding their concerns or future plans. Without enough communication, the result is siloed working, leading to, and exacerbating, a lack of coordination within the team. While the causes of disunity can vary, the result remains the same – stagnated business growth.

It is imperative that business owners make the time to identify the aspiration they hold for the business they’ve built. Once identified they can strategically look towards the future and place their management team at the centre of that vision.

Read more like this:

5 tips for successful business management

Want to know more about the Secret Life of the Business Owner? Read on to find out about their wealth, health, personal and business relationships, planning challenges and their communication struggles.

For more information about strategic business planning and business growth planning find and contact your local Haines Watts office

About the author

Darren Holdway

Darren has worked with owner managed businesses for over 20 years. Darren’s clients include a diverse range of businesses enabling him to consult not only on financial issues but on strategic, management and business issues.
As well as being a Chartered Accountant, he is also a member of the Institute of Taxation and has completed a ‘practical’ MBA at Cranfield Business School.

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