Most small business senior executives tend to work in their business and never take the time to work on their business. They have great knowledge of their area of expertise, but usually have very little knowledge in the other areas of business.  They may be a great Director of Admissions, Financial aid specialist, Department Chair and understand how to take care of their students’ needs, but they do not know anything about the other areas necessary to manage their business. 

Recently, I met with a new client to talk about what he should expect in our business coaching relationship.  Before I could share my goals as his coach, he told me that he is working 12 hour days, 6 days a week.  He said that he misses his family because of working so many hours.  The school’s enrollment has not grown, but his hours at the college continue to increase just to keep the business afloat.  This is an example someone working IN their business.

As we were talking, I knew that I have heard this story many times before.  A strong-willed aggressive employee of a college works hard, learns the business, gets promoted to a management position and eventually decides that he can go into business for himself.  By working for himself, he can set his own hours, make more money and be in control of his own destiny.  So he quits his job and to start his own company.  

Unfortunately, he has no idea how to start or manage a business.  The first couple of years are a real struggle and it only gets worse.  In most cases, it is not a hard problem to fix. This person lacks knowledge in areas that are vital to managing a business—such as: Accounting / Finance, Marketing, Hiring the right people, Insurance needs, Income and payroll taxes, etc. These shortcomings can be overcome by working ON his business.

These problems are resolvable if the business owner will take time to plan and establish goals for himself and his business.  He needs to allocate time for himself to grow with the business as it grows.  He should plan to take time to learn more about how to “manage” his business properly rather than his business managing him.

The key to change your lifestyle is to want to do it.  There are plenty of training classes available to learn how to: Read a financial statement; Market your business effectively; Good management procedures: Learn the best techniques to hiring the right person.  And then there is always my favorite…Hire a qualified Business Coach! If you own your own business, take time to work on your business, Invest in yourself to become a well-rounded entrepreneur.   Good luck!                       

I’m Bob Curry, CEO Business Coach and Turnaround Specialist.  I solve business challenges and maximize leadership opportunities.  As always, I welcome your comments and requests at: [email protected]