This may sound strange. You might say, “C’mon, I run a small business, why should I transition to a CEO? What could we possible have in common?” More that you think.
Over the years, we have helped a wide range of small business owners. There’s been one clear theme that we have found. Many of the challenges successful small businesses face arise from the need to transition from an owner to a CEO.
So, what’s the difference between an owner and a CEO? And why should I care? It all starts with the mindset shift.
The problem with the owner model is building scale. Unless you can clone yourself, your sales are capped at your maximum capacity. You can see signs of this, bookkeeping that gets put off, working 12-14 hour days, lopsided sales cycles (peaks when your selling, nothing when you’re working), etc. There are countless examples, which generally lead to trouble of burnout (see blog post “How to survive the 3-year itch”)
That’s the harder part, and we’ve found that many people struggle. We’d suggest you get help, but if you wish to do it on your own, here are a few tips on how to transition from an owner to a CEO.
Delegate some minor operational activities to an employee or new hire. See how it goes. If it works out, delegate more. If it doesn’t, find out why?
No one person has all the skills needed to run a successful business. It requires a team. If you try to do it all on your own, you are likely to burn out. Finding the right talent makes delegation easier.
Knowing where you want to go can significantly help you structure the business so that it can get you there.
Clear processes lead to clear communication and timely information. Both make delegating easier.
Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkedIn profile