As a business coach, I get the opportunity to speak with thousands of business owners every year in various industries. I love sitting down with business owners and finding out about their business, how they have grown thus far, and what their triumphs and challenges are. I also really enjoy finding out how they came to be a business owner, because the stories are always interesting. Maybe you inherited the business from your family, maybe you had an idea and built the business from the ground up, or maybe you purchased an existing business and built it into something bigger and better. Whatever the story, it helps me get a feel for how that person came to be a leader, and gives me a clue as to what problems and skills they may need to work on down the road.
Because for many of us, the transition from business owner to CEO was a rocky one. Or maybe you haven't reached that threshold yet and want to. Whatever the reason, I want to share with you some tips on how to make the transition from business owner to CEO to help grow your business faster and more efficiently.
1. CEOs Learn to Look at the Big Picture.
Business owners manage the day-to-day operations of their businesses. They keep the lights on, the bills paid, and the cash flowing. They hire and fire employees. A CEO steps back and looks at the big picture. They look at their business and plan for the future. They look at the market they are serving, and address their needs and wants. They decide whom not to sell to. They look at what products and services are most profitable and sustainable, and make the hard decisions to cut products or services that aren't good for the future of the business. They decide what they want their company culture to be, and help shape it. And the list goes on and on. A CEO asks the big questions and isn't afraid of the answers they might reveal.
2. CEOs Learn to Plan.
Business owners plan for the month. They plan for the seasonal swing of business, but they struggle with yearly planning. A CEO has clear priorities and goals for their business and lays out the steps needed to get to the next level. They are always looking ahead to put their business in a place of growth and prosperity. And they teach their key team members to do the same for their departments.
3. CEOs Learn to Hold Their Teams Accountable.
A business owner will keep hiring more team members in the hopes that they can keep up with demand and grow. A CEO understands that there is a finite level of talent, money, and resources that a business has and will learn to prioritize and focus those resources on the things that will make the most difference in their business. This can be done through planning, but also through accountability. Keeping your team on track and accountable for the items and tasks that make the most sense for your business will make a huge difference in your businesses growth trajectory.
If you aren't at the CEO level yet, I want you to start working toward it. Change the way you think and look at your business, and with deliberate practice you will start to see the difference.