5 things Entrepreneurs need to learn from CEOs
“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the UK economy yet many businesses fail to live up to their full potential because the very skills that make entrepreneurs so valuable at the start-up phase often become a hindrance when it comes to scaling up. It’s then they need to start thinking like a CEO.”
Following the sale of his first business in 1996, Norbury moved into the corporate world, eventually as CEO at a multinational corporation where he turned a loss of £250k per month to celebrating its first £1 of profit in just a matter of months.
“Entrepreneurs are visionaries; they like shiny new things, get easily distracted and are always ready to react. These are great traits for generating ideas, identifying new opportunities and for self-development, but it often leads to frustration and confusion when looking to grow their business to the next stage”.
“It is my experience from wearing both Entrepreneurial and CEO hats, as well as helping SMEs in over 55 industries grow and exit, that small business owners can learn 5 key things to help improve and grow business performance without stifling the entrepreneurial spirit, ideology or culture.”
1). Define your processes:
To grow efficiently and scale your business, you must work out exactly what makes your business work and document the method. This includes having a clearly defined process that logs all issues (however big or small) and solves them. By noting these down, you can focus on striking them off, learning from each one, improving on it, and removing any barriers to growth.
2). Set accountability:
Once you have a process and system for logging your issues, you need to identify the person who is accountable for each one, and the date they will be solved by. It’s important to ensure that everything and everyone who needs to be involved understands their role (and the goal). A set of progressive leadership behaviours should be agreed and adhered to.
3). Set the questions you want to ask your business and put measures in place:
It pays to have a way to track progress against your defined processes and alert you to potential problems well before the alarms go off. We come across too many business owners who expect their business to magically change. They know their sales have plummeted for the third consecutive month, or that their star member is less willing than they were 6 months ago. But they don’t know why.
Consider the following: why did you lose that contract? How do your staff really feel? How many of your clients are fans? By asking those questions most important to your business, on a regular basis by introducing simple tools and measures such as the Net Promoter Score®, will mean you are constantly learning and evolving and not making the same mistakes repeatedly. To achieve this the business needs to follow the next step.
4). Create the right environment, give the tools, get out of the way.
The above will only happen if you have created the right culture and environment for your business. Those businesses that we work with who have successfully achieved this are constantly learning and refining because their teams have the will and the attitude to give and receive constructive feedback. In some ways, they celebrate mistakes!
These business owners aren’t constantly mopping the floor because of a leaky roof; they’ve mended the roof and moved onto the next challenge. If you don’t set the right environment then every decision you make will be an emotional one, based on short-sighted information at hand (at best).
5). Get into a routine.
Now you have set the right environment, you’re asking your business the right questions and you’ve got systems and processes in place, you need to embed a routine into your business. By having regular, structured meetings (same day, time, agenda) to capture, review and tick off issues, allows you to constantly learn from your business. It’s important to remember that these types of meetings are problem-solving meetings.
Martin Norbury is available to provide expert comment on business growth, investment and exit strategies for businesses of any size, in any industry. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 603 1112. See more at www.myadvocatementor.com
I don’t work Fridays by Martin Norbury can be purchased on Amazon in paperback (ISBN 978-1781331705), hardback (ISBN 978-1781331828), and on Kindle (ASIN: B01BI50FKA).
Notes to editors:
Martin Norbury of Advocate Business Services went from small time entrepreneur, to SME business owner and onto CEO of a multi-million-pound corporation in just ten years. His Scale Model™ is used across 55+ industries, earning him the badge of The Scalability Coach. His passion to help Entrepreneurs achieve their success is his ultimate driver. Martin in a multi-award-winning entrepreneur:
- Champion of Entrepreneurship – Top 25 in Smith & Williamson Power 100 2017
- #1 bestselling author of I don’t work Fridays
- Runner-Up of Profile of the Year Award 2015, hosted by Daniel Priestley (Key Persons of Influence)
- Runner-Up in KP16 Book Cover Competition, judged by Daniel Priestley
- Business Mentor of the Year 2015 (APCTC)
- Britain’s Top 50 Business Adviser 2014 (Enterprise Nation)
- 3 of his clients have won the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, 2014 & 2015 (Entrepreneurs Circle). And 11 of his clients were finalists in the Entrepreneurs Circle’s National Awards 2015
- National Entrepreneur of the Month – June 2013 (The Entrepreneurs Circle)
- Business Growth Advisor of the Year 2012 (The Entrepreneurs Circle)