This is one of the most challenging areas of running a business. Not simply understanding what you want, and identifying what needs to happen for you to achieve it: but also having a clear understanding of what the other owners in the business want to achieve, and how all those interests align.
Often in business, especially several years (or many years) on, it begins to become evident that the goals that were originally along the same lines are there no longer. One of the directors begins to take more time out with his family. A business partner grows older and health problems prevent him from being in the office as much as he used to. A key manager starts another business which begins to take all of her time. It’s a good thing that we don’t stay exactly where we were many years ago – but it can cause real issues in trying to run a business.
Do any of these sound familiar?
– I don’t really see my fellow owners in the business anymore.
– Our strategy meetings are simply a catch up and a review of finances.
– We’ve been talking about succession planning and retirement for ages, but nothing is different.
– I think my needs are different, but I haven’t communicated those to the others.
– I’m frustrated with the lack of commitment shown by my fellow business owners.
– I don’t even know what I want anymore.
If any of these are true for you, it’s a critical time to address this issue in your business. If these problems are allowed to fester, you can experience drastic changes as a result of an outside occurrence – instead of having the time and mental energy to address it one clear step at a time.
Some of the steps you can consider now are:
– Meeting with a business coach or adviser to discuss your and the other owners’ current interests
– Setting aside several days for an owners’ retreat (and ensuring that there is someone objective – not part of the company or family – to lead it)
– Each business owner completing a personal goals review, and then discussing the results together
– Taking some time to think about what you really want in business, and in life. How is it different from when you started or took over the business?
– Asking friends and family to comment on the dynamic they see among business owners.
Most of these steps can potentially be very frightening for many business owners. But we assure you that it’s much more difficult to have these discussions thrust upon you in the midst of a personal, business, or family crisis – when emotions are high and energies are low, and stress is all around.
We’re here if you want to talk – or we can help you find someone who can guide you through this process. Whatever you do, we encourage you not to simply leave it alone hoping that it will get better on its own. It probably won’t.
We’ll be discussing this very topic in our upcoming Business Builder webinar. If you have time, please join us! And forward this link to the other partners or owners in your business, so they can come along also. It may make the difference in the profitability and long-term success of your business!