The Business of Achieving an Expectant Outcome
When graduating high school, college, or any educational program, one has an expectant outcome in mind. Likewise, when acquiring ownership of a small business, an expectant outcome is also envisioned, i.e. financial independence and/or having free time to fulfill dreams kept in the back in our minds.
You might say acquiring a new business is like expectant parents, filled with hopes and dreams of a new baby.
Regrettably, according to The Small Business Administration, about 20% of U.S. small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of their fifth year, almost 50% fail.
There are several reasons why new businesses fail; however, notice the 50% FAILURE RATE in the fifth year. Surprisingly, this high failure rate in the fifth year is NOT due to lack of business. Frankly speaking, it’s due to OWNER BURNOUT!
Many new small business owners work 10 to 15 hours a day and weekends, in order to keep up with their workload. They usually have around five to 10 employees, and much of their employee communication is done by email and their mobile phone. Add to that, client and prospect tracking, and countless other hats an owner wears.
This style of running a business is a shoot-from-the-hip, reactionary approach to business management.
The fact is, continuing this style of management becomes unbearable for many around YEAR FIVE. Moreover, this UN-expectant outcome becomes an owner’s nightmare.
How do I know?
Coming close to shutting down our first brick and mortar business in our fifth year was disheartening. Like many small business owners, I became desperate to get control of the chaos that kept me bogged down. Not surprisingly, growing our business just added more stress.
A Map to an Expectant Destination
When driving vehicles, road maps help us arrive at an expectant destination. In like manner, a BUSINESS MAP is critical for small business owners to achieve their expectant outcome. When finding a geographic location in today’s high-tech world, you type or speak a destination address into a navigation app, and simply follow.
On the other hand, a business map, a chart of how a business operates from beginning to end, is mostly inside the owner’s head. As a result, employees and others associated with the business must gain access to the owner to obtain information for HOW to proceed. This constant access comes via a flood of emails, texts, and in-person interruptions.
When NO PROCESS MAP is given to employees, the owner usually ends up doing much of the management work themselves. Unfortunately, the endless cycle of chaos continues, and the owner is on a fast track to BURNOUT!
Small business owners will often say, “I don’t have time to develop detailed processes!” Of course, meaning written procedures, daily routine checklist, and policies, etc. Therefore, they believe it is better to do a task themselves, rather that write down a procedure; whereas, they could delegate the task.
So, the nightmare continues until around YEAR FIVE; at which point, many throw in the towel.
Sadly, this is also an expectant (or predictable) outcome!
How to Arrive at an Expectant Destination
The business of achieving an expectant destination for a business is simple. Make the decision to sit your butt down and draw a map!
Again, make it your business to write a PROCESS MAP of how your business operates from morning to night, from beginning to end. Or start making plans to find another job in about five years!
We can help with your business process map. It’s also known as Building an Operations Manual.
Did I mention, great systems WORK?
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.