Governments periodically set up schemes to provide leadership and management training for business owners. These schemes are often aimed at helping the accidental manager and eradicating the long tail of low-productivity small businesses. They build on a long tradition of government investment in management training and the equally-well established tradition of rationing the help to individuals to the point where it is ineffective, withdrawing the scheme when the fiscal going gets tough and failing to follow-up, assess or learn from the scheme in any meaningful way.
I was prompted in these thoughts by a discussion at an event I attended recently which got around to why most business owners grow their business to a certain size and then get stuck whilst a few are able to create scalable businesses that go on to employ many people. Opinions as to the reasons for this differed wildly, as you would expect. Here are my notes from my coffee-stained attendee list:
- Some business owners do not have growth as an objective. They have no external shareholders to satisfy and are focused on their lifestyle.
- Some business owners would like to grow but do not see the return justifying the effort required.
- Some business owners have the ambition and drive but do not have the required capabilities, which might include emotional intelligence, self-awareness, credibility in the eyes of their staff, intelligence (or at least the ability to generalise from the specific), creativity, vision, communication, commercial nous, courage – and just being organised.
- Some business owners have the capabilities but don’t have the tools, such as understanding strategy, planning, marketing, finance, structure, process, motivation and so on.
As a business coach working with business owners it is depressing to recognise that I can only help those few business owners who reach level 4 on this scale – let’s call it the Goal-Drive-Capability-Knowledge Scale (TM). It is also chastening to realise how often I have wasted my time wrestling with clients who are, and will remain, at level 3.
The BusinessCoachKit Marketing System ensures that you only target and coach level-4 business owners.