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Continuing our discussion on the four common mistakes that entrepreneurs make, today we will introduce the second common mistake:  undervaluing management competency.

Undervaluing Management Competency

Most entrepreneurs are by nature creative, passionate people.  They have an idea or product, and they understand that idea or product inside and out.  Unfortunately, they haven’t got the first clue about running a business.  Many small business owners are overwhelmed by the “running the business” side of things, some so much so that they just ignore it altogether.

Here are some keys to managing your business.

1)  Remove bottlenecks:   Where are the bottlenecks around you and your role?  What 20% of what you do creates 80% of your value to the company?  How good are you at delegating?  Do you have the right team around you?  Do you step back and “de-clutter” your role every 6 months?

2) Be a team leader:  In order to effectively manage your business, you have to be able to lead a team of people.  In the 21st century, that means evolving from a manager to a coach.  What does that mean?  A manager would lay out in detail step-by-step instructions on how to solve a particular problem.  A coach would lay out the vision for the end result and let the team member(s) figure out the best way to do it.  Are you coaching or managing your team? 

3)  Tap into the power of your team:  Your team is a collective power for innovations.  Do you have a formal process for collecting good ideas & innovations from your team?  (Note: a suggestion box that is never opened doesn’t count.)  Are good ideas wasted because you don’t have the time or authority to change processes?  Does your culture allow for good ideas from the team?  Most business owners would say they encourage ideas from the team.  Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs actually discourage idea generation by the way they react and respond to ideas they are presented with.

If business owners could better handle these three keys, they would free up an enormous amount of their time and would be able to focus on strategic issues rather than constantly putting out fires.

How do you manage your business?  What are three things that you could change today in your management style?

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