Break The Vicious Circle – Start Working ON The Business Again…

In our twelve years of working with hundreds of SME’s and helping them improve their business performance we have established that there are some recurring issues and challenges that prove themselves as the most prevalent. One of these is the owner being unable to take the business ‘up a gear’ after a most promising start where their idea or product has worked well and generated decent business.

This is the classic ‘remove tentacles’ stage where it is time to structure the business for growth, involve other personnel in the journey and as a result, free up time to keep working on and developing the business to move up to the next level.

The ‘tentacles’ are those of the owner/ manager who, while complaining about never having a minute, not enough hours in the day, a revolving door of queries to their office, a telephone constantly ringing etc., does nothing to change the situation and simply carries on doing the same things and yes, expecting different results. It should serve as a wake-up call – what do you need to do differently?

The good news is that the owner/ manager can fix the problem and break the circle. However, the solution is not to simply allocate some additional responsibility to the longest serving member of staff, or just simply employ more people to help cope with additional work. This is the ‘scattergun’ approach that will create more problems than it solves.

Start by thinking about the structure of the business and what positions are required, then match the most suitable people, based on skills, experience and ability to those particular roles. Write Job Descriptions for all of those roles including reporting lines, accountabilities and responsibilities. You will end up with a structure that should serve the business well and if you have done it right, probably a few vacant slots.

But here comes the most important part. You must now ensure that the people put into the new roles receive sufficient TRAINING to ensure that they can carry out their function efficiently and effectively. Just because someone can do their current job effectively doesn’t mean they can move up to manage people for example. If we take selling as an example, the top, blue chip businesses do not promote the best salesperson to Sales Manager, they assess the individual and what they are looking for and appoint them to the role if suitable or potentially suitable and then help realise that potential by training and developing them. They recognise that without help they will fail and fail the business too. Too many businesses view training and development as a ‘cost’ rather than an investment. If times get tough the first things to go are training and advertising budgets in many cases and these are actually the crucial parts of the mid to long term prospects of the business. The long-term successful businesses like P&G and Apple recognised at a very early stage (when they were small businesses) the importance of people and their development to their potential success and invested in that.

Training and developing your people will free more time up for the you, the owner/ manager to work on the business and not just in it. It will allow the business to develop and change in an infinitely changing business world. It will ensure that you can retain good people (if they are TRULY good, they’ll not stay if they are not being developed and trained!) and also attract good people in what is a hugely competitive recruitment market.

Break the vicious circle now – start thinking about the next stage of your business and start structuring, organising and training and developing the group for greater things.

Want a chat about how we could help you move your business forward with no obligation?  Contact us at or call us on 01162325231.

The Tinderbox Team