Most entrepreneurs start small businesses because they’re good at the core competency of their business. But the secret that many of them share is that they’re not trained to run a business.
They might know everything there is to know about the product or service that their business provides, but next to nothing about small business operations, finance, accounting, human resources and all the other things that make the business run behind the scenes.
That’s okay, though. They don’t need to. But they should stop trying to do it all themselves. They have to have time to keep dreaming big dreams for their business.
“Staying creative is among the healthiest things a CEO can do personally and for the company,” according to Inc. Billie G. Blair, an organizational psychologist, added that “idea generation may be the CEO’s strongest suit, and consequently a company’s greatest asset.”
When I started my first business at 23, I didn’t know how to run one, either, but that’s where I had my biggest idea. I found a better, faster, and cost-effective way for small businesses to operate.
Most small business owners will do just about anything to make their business a success, which is why they’ll handle yet another problem with a supplier, take the trash to the dumpster at the end of another long day, or stay up late on Friday night to finally balance the account books.
This is a mistake.
Yes, they were 100 percent correct that starting and running a business requires every ounce of commitment and courage they have. But contrary to so much of the popular wisdom out there, building a successful business doesn’t mean spending time doing tedious work that they hate and should leave for an expert.
Most entrepreneurs find accounting boring as hell, and it’s not typically something at which they excel. The same goes for HR paperwork and setting up IT systems. And the fact that they find these things boring is an important signal. It’s a signal that spending valuable time on those tasks is inefficient.
When it comes to running a business, inefficient equals less competitive, and less competitive means you’re on your way to obsolescence. That’s why the success of their business depends on whether or not they’re going to stop doing these things.
Luckily, there are people in this world who are passionate about accounting. There are people in this world who are passionate about setting up great IT systems. There are even people in this world who are passionate about tax law (trust me on that one; I went to law school with a bunch of them). All of these people will find better, faster, and more innovative ways of handling these parts of the business than the owner ever could.
Entrepreneurs must focus on doing what they do best — and enjoy the privilege of getting paid to do it — by bringing in specialists to handle the other stuff.
How do you know which specialists to bring in and when? Read our Golden Formula Whitepaper to dig more into those practical questions.
By Justin E. Crawford