In order to be a successful supplier to your corporate clients, it is essential that you are running your business like a true CEO. Do you ever find yourself asking these questions?

  • Why am I still working too much and making too little?
  • Why do I feel trapped on a treadmill, moving faster and faster, but going nowhere?
  • Why do I constantly face frequent interruptions and repetitive questions from my staff?
  • Why do I crave more free time to do the things that matter most to me, but never seem to find it?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are not alone! Many business owners find themselves in bondage and enslaved to their business!  Most of the clients I have worked with have suffered from one or more at one time or another during their business-growth cycle. The following 5 traps seem to be the most common reasons I believe your business is running you instead of you running it.

  1. Technical Tendencies.  Too many business owners are former technicians now masquerading as owners. They think they are business owners, but they don’t act that way. They have a hard time letting go of their expertise and familiarity. How To Fix This: Develop visionary, strategic and leadership skills necessary to run a successful business. Also be sure to properly train your team, then TRUST them enough to let go!
  2. Busyness. Many business owners confuse activity with accomplishment. Instead of working smarter, many owners hold tight to the delusion that working harder is the solution. The more their business grows, the more imprisoned they become.  How To Fix This: Develop an action plan for each day and complete the tasks that have the highest value first. Ideally these tasks should be revenue-generating tasks.
  3. Ineffective Leadership and Delegation. Far too many small business owners are by default small leaders. This costs them dearly. Instead of leadership, they excel at doer-ship. They act like they have a job instead of owning a business. How To Fix This: Make a list of everything you do and be willing to delegate or delete any tasks from your plate that do not have to be completed by YOU.
  4. Inadequate Business Systems. Your business should be systems-dependent and not owner-dependent. Without proper systems, you will always feel out of control AND out of time! How To Fix This: Create and document the processes, procedures and policies for every aspect of your business–an operations manual, if you will.
  5. Growing Business Complexities. A growing business with its increasing numbers of customers, transactions, and problems will eventually crush a business not properly designed and prepared to handle such growth. Growing pains are unavoidable, but with proper planning it is possible to achieve great results. How To Fix This: Create a plan for what team members, technology,  physical space and other support you will need as you grow and how you will determine when that time is at hand.

When marketing and selling to other small business owners or individual consumers you may be able to “skate by” without running your company properly. It is more difficult to do so when selling to corporations.  By avoiding these common pitfalls and running your minority or woman-owned business like a true CEO you will be a more successful supplier to your corporate clients, which will lead to more business and referrals!

In the space below, list the trap above that you have fallen into and how you survived. Or list the trap that currently has you bound and how you plan to fix it.