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Most Small Business Owners Have Narrow Focus

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Do small business owners really have their head in the sand when it comes to running their businesses?

Too often, I am amazed at how narrow the small business owner’s focus has become. I surround myself with company executives who are like me (or who I think are like me). By becoming a part of the area chambers of commerce, becoming part of the Entrepreneur’s Organization and other various associations, I have met many small business owners and interacted with them repeatedly.

All conversations that I can reflect on, leads me to one question: “Should those who own and run a small business, be doing so?”

Recently, I attended a three-day CEO roundtable conference. Listening intently to the stories of success and failure, it seems that the emotional equity each owner has in their business has conditioned them to bury their head in the sand, instead of thriving to be more successful.  The tough truth can be glossed over when you are feeling overwhelmed day in and day out; however, the speed at which business can change is amazing. Let’s compare it to one of my passions: sailing a boat.

Sailing has been one of my favorite activities for many years. The various adjustments you can make to your boat to go faster or slower include: sail shape, direction, where the crew sits, shape of the mast, and much more! Owning and operating a small business is very much the same. The ability to make changes fast is difficult. At our company, we try to make 1% improvements to our current processes and procedures. What that means is that if we do 1% better today than yesterday, our customers are happier, our employees are happier and our company is more successful.

The lift that the 1%’ers can create for your company will exemplify an incredible tide that raises your boat. Unfortunately, if the average business owner keeps his head in the sand, the lift potential is lessened astronomically. To all small business owners out there, some words of wisdom:

  • Keep  your hands on the wheel,
  • Guide your boat gracefully through the rough waters, and
  • Strive to raise your boat 1% every day in order to achieve your goals.
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