At the end of this post I outline the 5 concepts we help small business owners measure and improve to enable a healthy happy team and business. You'll also find a link to our free 5 minute scorecard to figure out where you are now and what your next steps should be to move forwards. First though we explore why small businesses often struggle with employees.
Starting and running a business is a unique challenge. Nobody hands you the 'how to run a business' handbook. Most of us believe that a vision and passion is all we need to succeed in business. Although this is EXACTLY what we need to get started, the truth of the matter is, this alone isn't enough to grow a successful business.
Once a business is 'proven' and demand grows, the business wants to grow into something bigger, something better, something that can provide the business owner with a great quality of life.
It's also at this point, the point that should be most rewarding, that many small business owners get stuck.
For the business to grow it will usually (not always) require a team/employees to be added to the equation. From the outside looking in, adding employees to a business is an easy win. You take on some new people, show them what to do and voila, the business and owner have increased capacity! More time for the owner, more sales for the business.
Any of us reading that statement who own or have owned a business will have rolled our eyes. Because for most, that statement couldn't be any further from the truth. It's very common that business owners end up busier and more stressed once demand goes up and they add employees to the equation.
The MAJOR reason for this is small business owners fail to recognise that they are wired differently to most. They are HIGHLY self driven and will work way harder than most in order to bring their visions to fruition. I served two tours in Afghanistan as a part of the British Military, I've worked on deep sea fishing boats off the coast of Australia and I can say, beyond a shadow of doubt, that starting and running small businesses is harder (but more rewarding) work.
This crazy commitment to success and supporting work ethic is essential to get a business off the ground. If it wasn't, everyone would do it. But this approach to business isn't sustainable long term. In fact, if you try to keep using this approach you'll limit the growth of your business, burn through employees and negatively impact on your health.
People that come to work for you don't do so because they want to work like you have been. If they did, they would be starting their own business. They come to work for you because they want to be a part of what you have created, they want to be a part of you achieving your vision, they want to contribute in a meaningful way and of course they want to earn a living.
Like all humans, you included, employees want:
To feel like they are valued and making a difference
To feel like they are growing
To enjoy good health
A work life balance
I'd be willing to bet a substantial amount of money that any small business owner reading this will have to some extent sacrificed one if not all of the above components to get their businesses working. But remember, your employees don't want to sacrifice these things, they're not starting a business, they're doing a job.
They are going to look up to you as their leader. If you are leading by working every hour available, doing everything yourself, sacrificing your health and stressing yourself to an early death, what behaviours do you think they are going to replicate?
For your business to scale and last the test of time it's going to need a different approach to what got it off the ground. It's going to need a team of people. It's going to need the owner to be healthy and happy and it's going to need it's employees to be healthy and happy. As cheesy as this might sound, businesses are the health and happiness hubs of the future. With the decline of religion people have been left longing for meaning, value and purpose in their lives. I truly believe that businesses are the place where this can be found. Businesses create communities of people (that's your your team and your customers) by solving meaningful problems or making other people happy.
Once you get to the point where your business wants to grow and you need a team, you need to priotisie the health and happiness of you and your people, so you can continue to lead long term, and your people can perform at their best whilst wanting to stick around.
At better Happy we help business owners incorporate 5 principals that allow for business growth through healthy happy people:
Strategy - Clarity in where the business is heading and how. Out of the owners head clearly articulated to every team member
Systems - Systems create freedom. Get basic people systems in place so the team thrive even if you're on holiday
Coaching - Enrich your culture with growth mindset and coaching systems. Every member of staff is always developing.
Health - Workshops and year round challenges that make being healthy a habit and a part of your culture. Less absence through preventable joint pain.
Owner Care - A burnt out business owner starves the world of their energy and innovation. We give you basic targets and accountability to keep yourself healthy whilst continually growing the business.
Want to find out how you're currently doing and get a roadmap for moving forward? Take our the free business happiness scorecard in just 5 minutes and get instant results.
2nd June 2021
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<a href="https://www.freepik.com/photos/people">People photo created by jcomp - www.freepik.com</a>