As an entrepreneur, you have invested (or will be investing) a large amount of time and money into your business. During the start-up stages, you manage every single aspect of the business. You learn the systems/procedures, traffic patterns, and what practices are most efficient. While doing this you truly become the Master of your Business. With these mastered skills, you can do things quicker, and most likely better, than anyone else; therefore, it’s easier to do everything yourself. That’s why when the time comes to hire employees and managers, it can be difficult to “let go of the reins” and share some of the responsibility.
Keep in mind that as your business grows so will the list of responsibilities. As a business owner, your focus should begin to shift to “Big Picture” goals (growing your business and managing inventory and expenses to ensure profitability). In order to shift focus to these “Big Picture” goals, it is imperative to have a strong management team in place and feel confident that they can take the lead on daily and monthly operations.
How can you build a strong management team that will execute and manage day-to-day operations, while keeping the company’s “Big Picture” goals in mind? The answer is to go back to the basics by focusing on these three fundamentals:
1. Train – A manager cannot succeed without proper training. If you have a manager that doesn’t seem to be pulling their weight, you must first review the training they’ve received. Have they been given every tool needed to be successful? Have they been given clear goals and expectations? Are they being evaluated on a regular basis to discuss their successes and areas of opportunity? Clear and consistent communication is a key factor in proper training.
Being part of a franchise is a huge benefit in the training department. Franchises give you guidance by creating systems/procedures to implement into manager training. A franchise will also offer support on how to train and coach your management team.
2. Reward – In order to get the most from your management team, you must reward and validate them for a job well done. Employees are willing to put in the time and effort if they feel appreciated. It is amazing how far a simple email, a card or a “thank you for all your hard work” can go. When a manager has gone above and beyond or done an exceptional job in executing their duties, make sure to recognize that. At times a gift or bonus may be appropriate (they can be small, maybe a spiff or a bonus structure for reaching goals). Employees that are management material will treat your business like it is their own if they have a reason to. Make sure to lay out a plan of progression so they know that they have room to grow and a future in the company. Give them benchmarks to reach and they will strive to get there. If you want your managers to give 110%, you must recognize and reward all of their hard work and effort.
3. Hold Employees Accountable – As you begin to “let go of the reins” it’s important to hold on long enough to ensure that your managers understand their duties and are completing them. It’s important for owners to find that balance of letting go, but knowing exactly what is being accomplished. Owners should be holding weekly meetings with their management team. This is the time for managers to report on what took place throughout the week and to set goals for upcoming weeks. Following franchise systems and daily/weekly/monthly checklists will help keep the management team on track to reach sales and personal goals.
Being a business owner is rewarding but tough. You are investing a lot of time and money to ensure success. Because so much is at stake, you want to be involved in every detail which is important and necessary in the start-up stages. However, in order to be truly successful, you need help! Successful businesses have a strong leader that has the support of a strong management team. A strong management team that has been well-trained and can instruct and motivate their team of employees to give it their all every day.