A Small Business Trend That Needs to Stop

May 11, 2011, Written by Sue Miley

Business Building BlocksMost of the people who read my blog are business people and Christians.  Not all, but most.

Plus, I work with small businesses, solopreneurs, and a few corporate people.

I keep having the same conversations with clients, prospects and contacts and they’re FREAKING me out!

I am not sure what to call the subject of these conversations.  Are they disciplines, trends, habits?

What it comes down to is that there is a trend I am seeing in small businesses not having fundamental building blocks in place for the basic functions of their business.

Over the next couple of days I am going to share some of these building blocks!

Disclaimer

I have been told that my style is to be open and honest, but encouraging and inspiring.  When I have an edge, or a tough stance, it doesn’t fit as well.

But, some stuff just needs a tough stance.  These observations are about fundamental business basics.  They aren’t as important as having God in our lives or letting the Holy Spirit guide us…..but they are foundational none the less.

If I just put a post together of the 1, 2, 3’s of business practices, you gloss over them and say “yeah, yeah, I know that one”.

A Bigger Sin If You Know It and Don’t Do It

The problem is YOU aren’t doing it.  And if you are, you aren’t doing it consistently!  You aren’t and I want to you to admit it…

TO YOURSELF!

It is the only way you will feel convicted to do more than just book mark these posts and say one day I will get to these things.

Small Business Building Blocks

So, here is my short list:

  1. Time Management: The majority of employees that work for small businesses do not have a consistent, working time management or calendar system.
  2. Top Prospects List: Most salespeople in small businesses do not create and manage a Top Prospects list.
  3. Business Metrics: Just about every small business I talk to has no metrics to measure their company’s performance, or their employee’s performance.
  4. Performance Appraisal System: Less than half of the small businesses I have talked to or work with have any type of performance appraisal system.
  5. Accountability Process: As Christians, many business owners feel that it is not a Christian virtue to measure performance, hold people accountable and, at times, even apply discipline.

See I told you.

If you just look at the list it is all routine stuff.  You are saying to yourself, “okay, I know this stuff, I was hoping for some new magic bullet”.

Self Assessment

But, are these building blocks present in your business.  Look in the mirror and ask yourself….

Do I use a consistent and effective time management system that helps me do my job?

Do we have a top prospects list in our company that we are targeting for new business and everyone who needs to knows who they are?

Do I have a budget for my company…a real one?  Do I have goals or quotas for my sales people?

Do I honor and respect my employees by giving them regular reviews with logical and meaningful measurement of their performance and development?  (Regular and on-time??  Meaningful?)

At the end of the day, do I really hold my team and myself accountable?….Or because I don’t have these foundational things in place, I feel guilty holding them accountable?

What You Can Expect

Over the next few days, we will explore this trend that needs to stop.  We will discuss:

What they are?

Why they need to stop?

The benefits of embracing these business fundamentals.

Some tips and recommendations on getting started.

Oh, and I will try to make them short so you can fit it in to your schedule!

And at the end of each, I will try to encourage, because it is my style and I like that better than “fussing”.

What I dislike more though, is the fact that 9 out of 10 businesses still fail in the first 5 years.  I believe we need the fundamentals in place to have a business built on rock not sand.  I want that for your business!

___________________________________________________________________

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPCWe work with business owners to streamline their businesses and to establish a strong foundation to grow on.  Call us to help you establish a firm foundation for your business and vision.

 

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Brad Harmon says

    I don’t think this is a trend, Sue. It’s been the norm for as long as I can recall. I would get frustrated with my clients as a CPA because they couldn’t name even 1 of the financial statements they paid me good money to produce every month.

    Sadly, most of them hired me because their bank loans required the statements. I always wondered why banks don’t require those seeking loans to take an introductory business course. I guess it makes too much sense.

    I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the posts in this series. It should be good knowing you.

    • S_Miley says

      i guess you are right Brad. It has been forever, but I had a recent trend with people I was interacting with… So it felt trendy. I am glad I am not the only one who [email protected]!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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