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Business Owners – You Are The Key To Growing Your Small Business

Written by: Tim Rylatt, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Tim Rylatt

You may be the owner, but that doesn’t mean you know everything about running a business…yet! To get there, you’ll likely need to accept some external help and to invest a little into your personal development if you want to achieve the greatest and fastest business results!

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Transitioning from an employee to a business owner brings with it new responsibilities, a need for new skills, and requires a big change in mindset.


Why do business owners often forget about their own performance and development requirements?


For many new business owners, there is an assumption that running a business requires the same skills as those needed for fulfilling a job or role within a company. However, business owners very rapidly come to realise this is not the case.


If you had an employee who was progressing at a modest rate because they had chosen to learn through trial and error over expert education and were often consciously rejecting advice from those with greater experience, you would be having a serious talk with them about their progression and performance.


Yet for many business owners, this is exactly what is going on with them!


Accepting the trial-and-error approach as being the right one, means that your business growth and ambitions are substantially delayed, and what should take 5 years ends up taking 30 years. This also happens with a much higher rate of risk, potentially much higher penalties, and an awful lot more stress on the journey.


Part of the challenge is that there is nobody to whom the owner has to report. No one is demanding that they stop and listen, or to challenge a false pride that somehow, they are supposed to have the answers through magic rather than training.


The truth remains, however, that more SME owners need to prioritise their learning on how to be brilliant business owners, as by working with experts they will substantially accelerate progress, and massively reduce risk and frustration.


Is business growth and success just out of reach?


Very few business owners have received much (if any) formal training in business ownership, leadership, management, strategy, and a host of other vital areas needed to make a business grow.


That is not to suggest SME business owners aren’t well-educated. In fact, the vast majority have high-level qualifications in their specialist fields of expertise and industry, and years of acquired frontline experience. The issue is not with that knowledge bank or that skillset however, and despite that experience, many business owners simply don’t get the results they want and deserve from it.


The challenge is in knowing how to grow a small business, and in acknowledging that these industry skills are not necessarily the same as pure business ownership skills and knowledge.


The result is that often we see company owners with 20 years of front-line industry experience, experiencing low-level business results year after year and wondering why. They are learning the business running parts through trial and error and only making modest (if any) progress or growth in their business.


Almost certainly you didn’t set up your business with the intention of achieving mediocre or static results. By investing in yourself and your business owner's skills and knowledge, you can empower yourself to change the position of your business (and yourself) fairly quickly.


Get into the right mindset!


Michael Gerber wrote in his book, The E Myth Revisited about there being three different mindsets in business:

  1. The technician - The technician is highly skilled and capable at performing a task or activity. If we take the example of a plumber, where a highly skilled plumber sets up their own plumbing business and because they are so good technically, they struggle to allow anybody else to do it or support others to learn. They don't invest in the development or training of the people around them and they prevent the progression of the people around them because they think the only way for them to succeed is for them to be doing the work themselves. The amount of time they spend on the job is directly related to how much billable time there is in the company. With that mindset the business will be micro or very small as a result.

  2. The manager - Moving on from the technician, is when there is recognition to support the performance of other people in the company and they attempt to enable other people around them to develop. They are looking and planning for the short term, say a month or a year ahead.

  3. The entrepreneur - They are looking at how to develop a set of systems rather than a set of activities. How do we develop people who can run those systems so that a company can truly scale and become more autonomous and create a valuable asset? The entrepreneur stage is much more connected with the development of high levels of wealth.

Which mindset are you most often in when it comes to your own business?


How to change your mindset for business growth


I hope you gave yourself an honest appraisal when I asked you the question above. If you aren’t sure, then do ask for an objective appraisal by somebody who has the experience that you don't or the objectivity that you don't.


When you know where you are at, then undertake the learning needed to be able to embrace the other mindsets.


Critically too, appraise where your business is at now and where you want to get to. We use a model called The Business Progression Mountain, and it maps business advancement as moving from start-up to basically functional, and then on to growing and scaling. The next step is advancing to owner-independent and finally to being exit-ready. Each stage has identifiable symptoms, and a good coach can help you spot where you are at truly on this journey.


By better understanding yourself and your business, you can recognise better where you need support, education and, skill development, and as a result of some effort, make a real and sustained difference to both yourself and your business.


How to grow a small business – By creating your own personal development plan


In exactly the same way as you would if you were recruiting or appraising a team member, run a competency and skills audit on yourself. Simply look at the results you are getting in the business, within the business (team engagement, performance, and turnover for example) and how satisfied you are with your business and work-life balance, and you’ll quickly identify where you need support.


For example, your personal development plan might be around better self-discipline, about keeping to normal working hours or taking a holiday without worrying about the business. Whatever you want to achieve as an individual, as a business owner, as a business leader, should set the parameters of your plan. You know what you are looking to achieve in your life and set a development plan that relates to those goals.


How UK growth coach can help you


Working with a business coach provides you with an expert, trusted advisor, who is objective and in the case of UK Growth Coach can be relied upon to ‘speak the necessary truth’ however hard it may be to hear sometimes!


This is why our clients have been able to reduce their working weeks, go on holiday, effectively and confidently delegate, increase turnover and profit, and even sell their businesses earlier than planned (and for more money).


To get help with putting together your personal development plan and getting the education you need to achieve business growth, get in touch with me. Click here.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and visit my website for more info!

Tim Rylatt Brainz Magazine

Tim Rylatt, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Tim is a business coach to smaller/medium-sized business who have found themselves on a ‘plateau’ in terms of performance and want to make a change. He gets real pleasure from seeing business owners reclaim control and create personal/work-life balance. His valuable real-world insight and experience spans many sectors and industries, with businesses at all stages of their journey from start-up through to exiting a business. You would be hard pushed to find a more experienced business coach, having worked with around 250 companies throughout his career. He is also a published author on the subject.



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