I am reminded every day how entrepreneurs and business owners give away competitive advantage that is theirs to take.  I thought I’d better write and share them before any more time was lost!  It’s difficult enough to position your business, compete and execute – why give your advantage away?

Before jumping into the ways owners give away competiive advantage, let me qualify myself and clarify my position –

  • I am a business owner and entrepreneur.  When I point a finger, I am pointing it right back at myself.  This is not about coming off any better than you or your organization.
  • Running and growing a business is a incredible challenge, especially in slower economic times like today.  We need to react, plan and pivot every hour of the day to find the best use of our time.  There is way too much to do in any given day.  We will never catch up.
  • Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy and certainly our future.  Job and economic growth are built by us, not the big guys.  The large organizations are more challenges by creating and/or adapting to the customers needs.

That being said, let me share a few perspectives that need adjustment – by all of us.

Take time to work ON the business – Since we never will be finished with an everexpanding task list, we rarely set aside time to work on the business, or to consider our future direction and intent.  This is an issue.  Since we are far too busy working in the business, we need to find time to step back to ask where we are, whether this is the direction we want to be going, and finally, if others working with us understand where we are going and why.

Take time to check-in with CUSTOMERS –These people are the lifeblood of our business enterprise and we rarely take time to proactively check in with them.  We have plenty of time to spend time fixing mistakes, but never to plan.  Are we providing them what they need?  Are there other needs we could satisfy?  Is there a better way?  Are they irrated but not telling us?

Take the time needed to locate, recruit & HIRE the best talent available – Think of all the time you have spent in the last year on people issues – especially dealing with conflict, emergencies, new policies, etc.  Spending time to hire, lead and develop others in our organization should never be ommitted from our calendars; but instead of reacting to the next crisis, what if we spent our time planning what we really need, and developed a plan to find, attract and hire the best people?  Large organizations are already filled with hundreds and thousands of people and their expectations.  As an entrepreneur, it’s worth the planning, interviewing and waiting for just the right person.

I have found it interesting that I as I can write and share my thoughts with a broad audience with this tool, I am energized and encouraged by addressing these key opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners.  Let me know if you agree, have tried, or how you would struggle with any of these recommendations.