What's Needed In The Business Owner Toolbox
Being a business owner does not necessarily mean that we are born natural leaders, even if we would like to think so. Owning a business requires a very specific set of traits to ensure that the business can operate successfully, generate profits, attract talent, and build a strong reputation in the community. Multi-unit franchise owners are a bit unique in that you wear many hats of those day-to-day operations because you do not necessarily have a big C-suite team around you. Add to it that many of you also manage and sometimes work on the customer-facing side of the franchise, too.
Owning the business is one thing, being a leader is an entirely different beast, which some have a hard time slaying. There is a conundrum at play in that because you are a business owner, it is assumed that you are a natural leader. However, the reality of being an effective, motivational, and inspirational leader (all traits that make any business successful) is that you have to own being a leader.
Business owners own the business. We believe that in order to have a successful business, you first must excel in leadership. That's because it touches every spectrum of the business both internally and externally. From recruiting and retaining your people, to establishing a positive reputation in the community and building solid and reliable relationships with franchisors, vendors and suppliers, you have to be a strong leader. A testament to this can be seen in this Franchising.com article in which multi-unit franchise owners were queried on their business philosophy and management style.
To ensure you have all the right tools in the leadership drawer of your business owner toolbox, you must engage in these three activities:
- Get to know yourself - Often times people lean on behaviors they have seen "leaders" use and assumed it was effective purely because they were in a position of power. Basically, faking it hoping they will make it. Strong leadership takes a level of personal vulnerability to understand your personal strengths as much as your weaknesses. Understanding your communication style, and how to become more flexible in communicating with different types of people. Leadership starts with you, and it takes courage to be vulnerable, get to know yourself, and identify avenues for personal improvement.
- Sacrifice Doing - We all think that doing everything makes us invaluable. WRONG. Delegate tasks to others that free you up to focus in areas where you are more valuable. Allow others within your franchise locations to own tasks and help them develop their skills as potential next leaders.
- Ask for Help - The pink elephant in the room is always when someone wants help but is afraid to ask. You are an owner and it may seem like a weakness or shortfall to ask for help. In fact, asking for help is one of the best ways to establish yourself as a leader among your people. It shows that you are human, and it offers you an opportunity to develop others.
Remember that being a multi-unit franchise owner does not offer a free pass to being an effective leader. Also keep in mind that being a great leader means you set a standard for your organization, while also creating a competitive advantage among your peers.
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