As a business owner, it’s all too easy to get mired down in micromanagement. People found their own businesses because they value independence and control and giving that up can be difficult. It’s vital though, because the most valuable role of a business owner, founder or CEO is not taking personal control of every process, it’s looking to the future and steering the business forward towards success.
This is not an easy task. For one thing, the weight of responsibility for the business’ entire workforce rests on your shoulders: if your choices don’t generate the revenue or finance to pay everyone’s wages, there’s no one else to blame.
Today we’re looking at the ways you can make decisions about the future of your business that you can feel confident in, and lower some of the stress that comes with the rewards of running a business.
Truly objective decisions are a myth: as a person, with your unique experience and insights you will always bring a degree of bias to the process, and that’s no bad thing. It’s their particular set of experiences that makes someone a good decision maker! The best decisions, though, are based on reality, rather than simply your gut instincts, and you can use data sources to get closer to the reality you’re trying to make a decision about.
You can get some of the best data by working with a market research firm. They can provide you with market intelligence, so you can pick the options that work best for your consumers, and future proof your business against the trends that are coming, and competitor intelligence, to help you avoid the pitfalls your competitors fall into, and avoid forcing your competitors to choose between your brand and another – unless you’re very confident you will win!
As well as knowing about the market you’re relying on, you also need to know about the business you’re running. It’s a sad truth that as you focus more on the bigger picture, as you need to, you can lose some perspective on the ground-level running of your business.
The answer isn’t to plunge into direct management: you need to listen to the people who work for you. Building in feedback processes is best done at the founding of a business. If you try to impose this culture afterwards, you may find it difficult to get an honest answer – it can be hard to tell the boss they’re wrong! If you can demonstrate that you don’t take feedback personally, whether it’s negative or positive, and that you’ll act on the expert input of your team, you’ll soon build a proper understanding of the business you’re leading, and be able to make the right decisions for its future.