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I get to talk with many small business owners during my week who almost universally mention how busy they are. They are ordering inventory, running a register, brewing beer, solving customer problems, dealing with vendors, and training an endless stream of new employees. When I ask if we can talk about finding solutions to some of these challenges, the answer is almost invariable, “sure, when I get caught up on what I’m doing now.”
When I think about how they got so busy, I don’t know if they will ever be “caught up”. This is what I call the treadmill effect. Small business owners and managers often take on much responsibility for the daily tasks of their operation because they don’t:
The challenge I find is planting the seed that there are ways to jump off the treadmill and clear a path to progress. It is understandable that this may be easier said than done, especially for a very small business who cannot afford to hire staff, even part-time. But when it comes to creating a successful business, an owner should be focused on the larger picture of efficiency, growth, and profitability.
An entrepreneur who is also the company’s primary employee has a limited range of roles he or she can play. An ideas person who is always working in the trenches can lose the creative vision and drive that is inherent in and essential to the entrepreneurial spirit.
So, what are some solutions to this treadmill effect? A few obvious methods are:
I hope you’ll join the conversation.
David Koster is the owner and principle consultant of Team Learning Services. He has 30 years experience in the education and learning industry.