If you are ever in the mood for a real life study on why eager entrepreneurs and small business owners are failing in today’s marketplace, turn on either Bar Rescue or The Profit. If you are paying attention well enough, you will notice that the ones who don’t get the deal of their dreams for turning their failing business around do these common dumb things. Small business owners are usually the people who are very good at telling you all about their product. They almost always have a strong faith in what they provide and a passion for getting others to realize its value. For too many though, they fail to realize what they need to know about making their business work in the long term.
Here’s what you will find if you analyze the episodes of these two shows as to why the small business owners they tried to work with failed …
Many Small Business Owners Don’t Know How To Hire Well
It’s one thing when you are at Day One of your new company and you hire your brother-in-law to be COO or VP of Product Development for no good reason other than you like him and he needed a job. It’s quite another when your company has grow well past your brother-in-law’s capabilities but you keep him in his position to the detriment of your business.
Lets’ face it, the concept of Human Resources and all the things that go into dealing with employee issues is not why you started your business but it sure does come with the territory of growing a successful one. If you don’t know what you are doing in the arena of making good hires and assessing what person belongs in which open positions, you are putting a lot of unnecessary stress on you and your business.
In one episode of The Profit, Marcus Lemonis was speaking with a General Manager at one of his newly minted investment businesses about her sales per square foot, what product had the best margins, etc. How many of his questions could she answer? ZERO. You may have a really nice, hard working employee who would die for you, but if they don’t have the skill level to get their job done well, you are doing you both a great disservice. Do you know how to accurately assess skill level for the jobs you need done? Start by writing a comprehensive a job description. Next, go online and look up other positions like it and see what larger companies are asking for in the way of experience for a position like yours. It won’t be perfect, but it will work much better than guessing or just hiring people because they are engaging in their interview and you think you could get along with them. SPOILER ALERT: Marcus demoted her.
When They Don’t Know What To Do They Disengage
When the going gets tough for good leaders and excellent entrepreneurs there is one thing you can be guaranteed they won’t do; avoid dealing with it. Most small business owners will tell you their business has hit a hard patch or two. You don’t have to feel like a failure just because things are not what you want them to be right now, but you will fail if you don’t get a handle on your situation and come up with a plan for righting your ship quickly.
The first (really hard) thing to do is hold yourself accountable for the things you either did or failed to do as a small business owner that helped get you in the difficult position your business is in. That is inerrantly where every small business owner from Bar Rescue or The Profit went wrong; it was someone/something else’s fault. Get real, get honest, and write down what you did to get yourself into trouble. That will be your blueprint for getting out of your mess. Small business owners who can’t deal with accountability will not be small business owners for very long. Success never follows people who make excuses.
They Don’t Treat Their Employees Well
Following closely on the heels of lack of accountability is blaming the staff, along with not treating them like they want them to stay at their company. In short, they don’t make good investments in their greatest assets; their employees. Richard Branson said that your employees will treat your customers as well as you treat them. It’s solid advice. If you don’t have customers who are killing themselves to talk about how great your customer service and customer experience is, take stock in what you are (not) doing to make your employees feel valued. How are their benefits? Do they have any? Is your pay scale in line with companies like yours with similar positions? How do you know?
“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.” – Richard Branson
Now that we’ve talked about what small business owners commonly do wrong, what can they do make things right? It might be a bit simpler than you think. First of all, nothing can make small business owners want to be held accountable for their actions. That’s an internal struggle that has to be dealt with individually. There are lots of good books on being a great leader. Any one of them will have a chapter on accountability.
As far as making better hiring decisions and doing the things that make employees feel valued and like a legitimate part of your business could be solved by working with a PEO. PEOs are able to offer small business owners the kinds of things they need to successfully run their business when it comes to employment issues like hiring, job description help, employee handbooks, employment disputes and more. Secondly, they are able to offer your employees and even you the kind of benefits you always wished you could have at a fraction of what you’d pay on your own. Feeling skeptical? Talk to a PEO broker like PEO Spectrum. One phone call will help you understand what a PEO can do to help turn your small business around and help you find the right PEO for you. Make Marcus Lemonis and Jon Taffer proud and make the call today.