From the point when you start the company formation process through to the early stages of trading, leadership is often unstructured. However, as your company progresses, the roles and responsibilities of leadership also change. You become an employer, you begin to recognize the need for structure and processes and ultimately you start to become a manager of strategy and people rather than product and operations.
When you initially form a company, you need a broad skill set. From accountancy and marketing to customer support and business development, all the responsibility lies with you. However, once your company begins to grow, few entrepreneurs will have the levels of skill and experience required, in every area, to lead their business from formation to successful growth. Failure to recognize this reality, can lead to lost opportunities and – ultimately – become a barrier to future business progress.
To avoid this situation, it is important to move away from the day to day operations of your company, and review not only your own leadership skills, but also those of the people you employ. The main result of this will be the delegation of responsibility to ensure the best equipped people are in charge and allow you the time to concentrate on your company’s future.
Take a step back
Yasmin Banks, CEO and founder of fashion e-tailer Hush! had formed her company in 2006 and by 2008 she almost tripled her turnover. Such fast expansion had not come without its difficulties.
“Staff felt the pressure of increasing work load and customer service – one of the main USPS’s of our company – was beginning to suffer.”
“Also, my working hours had increased massively to cope with demand. I began to feel disenchanted and forgot the reason I started the company formation process to begin with.”
Banks decided to take a step back form the day to day operation of her business. “When I began to look at the key problem areas, it became obvious that I didn’t have the right people with the appropriate level of skill in charge. As a result I recruited an operations manager to oversee all daily activity and report back to me. I am now free to concentrate on the strategic growth of my business.”
Taking a step away from your company can initially make you feel like you are relinquishing control of the entity you have worked so hard to build, but make the effort to see the bigger picture.
Ask the difficult questions
As your company progresses, it is important you take an honest look at problems and potential issues. What is your style of management? Does it fit with the rest of your management team? And –crucially – are you the best person to lead your company into the next stage of its development?
These are the questions which need answering to secure the future growth of your business