Running a business is like a baby. It has got stages.
At first the baby cannot crawl. They need a lot of care. Then, the baby starts by crawling. Then they walk, and finally they can look after themselves. The process takes over 10 years for the baby to be fully on their own.
Why do you expect your SME to jump key stages?
In the early stages of your business, it needs close supervision and monitoring. Look after it carefully. Give the business milk – invest in the business your personal time, ideas and energy. Get dirty and do the work. You have to set the culture and critical business systems.
As your business grows, try to let it become independent of you. This is one of the most difficult thing to do because most entrepreneurs want to hold on signing the cheques, recruiting people, and doing other similar processes.
Can you say you are a great parent if all your children are still living in your house? As a parent, your litmus test for great parenting skills is the ability of your children to be on their own. If they do it the earliest, you are the best. If you have live-in children past the age of 30, you failed them as a parent.
The same applies to your business. If you are still doing all the work after five years as you were doing when the company had just started, there is a problem.
Remember, no child grows without experiencing difficulties – they get cold. Fall sick. Cry. Each life stage change brings with it different set of challenges and discomfort. As a parent, you stand by your child and let them go through it.
Same applies to your new start up. It will experience cash flow problems. You will receive intensions to sue you. Some clients will be bad apple. You will experience times you feel you had not started or founded your business. All these come and pass.
Your ability to keep moving, by finding strategic activities to do when business times are tight is some of the best skills you do. As a parent, a child might start crying in the middle of the night or you find you have to take them to hospital just after 1 am in the morning. What do you do? Look at your business likewise. You will need to sacrifice to see it through.
Wish you success.