The Dangerous Consequences of Micromanaging Your Business

One of the most dangerous and damaging practices of business owners is MICROMANAGING their business. And this practice is entirely too prevalent in today’s business world and it wastes valuable resources of time, talent and financial assets. It is particularly prevalent in entrepreneurial businesses. And the reason behind that may be rooted in the fact that entrepreneurs are motivated to start their businesses so they could be their own boss, make more money and gain more freedom.

So, with that being said, I need to ask those of you out there who are entrepreneurial business owners a couple of questions. My first question is: If you had to leave your business for an extended period of time, let us say a couple of months, would you come back to a business that is still running smoothly and profitably? My second question is: What would your answer be if we changed the time frame of your absence to two weeks? Let me say that if your answer was anything other than yes, then you probably don’t really own a business, you own a job.

Well guess what? The good news is that you are not alone. It is well known that small business owners are among the hardest working people in the world. However, it cannot be said that they are among the smartest working people in the world. To be successful in today’s business world, it is imperative you adopt and develop a strategic thinking mind-set. As a strategic thinking business coach, I emphasize repeatedly to my clients that a major goal for them is to develop a self-managing and systems-oriented business that still runs predictably and profitably while they are not there. And this enables them to “work on the business” instead of having them only “work in the business.”

The first commitment a business owner must make is to stop acting like an employee and start thinking land acting like a CEO. A transition is necessary for the business owner to think and behave more strategically and less tactically in their role as owner. The business owner must stop micromanaging and delegate. The business owner must start reducing the amount of time they spend involved in the daily transactions of their business.

Michael Gerber implores business owners to implement systems and procedures into their business that ensure daily tasks are completed correctly. In any well run business, all current systems and procedures need to be evaluated based upon results and updated as needed. In addition, documentation for all procedures, policies and systems need to be created to have a reference for employees and new trainees. Another good proactive and strategic business practice is to cross-train your employees before the need arises, not after the panic has set in.

Please read this very carefully – Trust your employees. One of the common major issues I hear from employees in my business coaching practice is that they are not trusted by the owner(s) of the business. What a sad commentary that is on business today. If you cannot trust your employees to complete the daily tasks and act in the best interest of the company, then maybe they shouldn’t be employees. In the long run, the more hands-off you can be, the more time you will have to work on the strategic issues and the larger vision for the business, which is what a business owner needs to do.

Boiling all this down to a single thought: you should run your business; it should not run you, your family or your life. You need to have a systems-dependent business, not an owner-dependent business. Many of these concepts are very challenging for owners. And some owners will never “get it” and will continue in a vicious cycle of turnover in their business and failure to achieve full potential in their business. Other owners will recognize the error of their ways and transition into a new way of thinking and managing. The owners that understand this will survive and thrive, while those who refuse to let go of the “micromanaging mentality” will experience turnover of employees, less than optimal performance of employees, continual dysfunctional behavior and decision-making in their business and therefore be destined to be under -achievers and failures in the long run.

The Dangerous Consequences of Micromanaging Your Business
By: J. Glenn Ebersole, Jr., Chief Executive of J. G. Ebersole Associates and The Renaissance Group (TM)