I was recently asked, “What do you think is the biggest challenge for SMEs at the moment?”
Obviously ‘Covid’ springs to mind. I disagree…
For me, having a vast variety of experience in private sector businesses, from large Corporates, to smaller SMEs and small family businesses, I have the ability to see the ‘helicopter’ view for small business owners and see what levers the businesses need to pull to react to changing business circumstances – covid and non-covid impacts. I do see that SME business owners often ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’ and can’t actually be a LEADER in their own business as they are too busy DOING business.
Specifically responding to the Covid challenges, often business owners have had to think on their feet and ‘pivot’ the business in order to keep the revenues coming in, or cut costs in order to keep the business afloat – impacts of covid on ALL types of business has been many and varied. In businesses where the Senior Leadership is limited to the business owner, or a family unit, the pressure is tangible. That is why I firmly believe that business owners need to have a sounding board or Business Mentor to allow them to look at the business in a fresh way, assume the ‘helicopter view’, take a step back and look at the steps to take short, medium and Long term, in order to take the business forward in the way they want towards greater success.
Having the time to define the Strategy, Vision, Mission and Values of a business and business culture matters and has a massive impact on business profitability. Sometimes small business owners are unable to see this as they are too involved in the day to day ‘nitty gritty’. Often small business owners have never had any leadership training and possibly don’t see that they need it, having learned from the ‘school of life’ or ‘hard knocks’. Leadership skills are vital, as is the ability to ‘LET GO’ and TRUST in your team. This to me is the biggest barrier which is faced by small business owners, regardless of the external challenges they face.
If this is YOU, then CHALLENGE YOURSELF to LOOK AT YOURSELF. Ask the following questions:
- Do I TRUST my team?
- Do I have the RIGHT PEOPLE in the RIGHT PLACES?
- Do my TEAM know what I expect of them?
- Does my team know What GOOD Looks Like?
Make time to look at how you are LEADING your business. It may be it is YOU that needs some help. It is available – business mentoring is invaluable at helping those business leaders reframe their business, often helping hone leadership skills and move forward through the trees towards recovery – despite the commercial challenges Covid has posed to all businesses, large and small.