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.
"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.