Entrepreneurs

Council Post: How CEOs Can Help Their Small Businesses Grow

By Kristopher B. Jones, serial entrepreneur and investor. Kris is the Founder of 2020 SEO Agency of the Year Finalist LSEO.com.

Once you’ve done the heavy lifting of founding your own small business and taken your place as CEO, you might think it’s time to kick back and enjoy your success.

The funny thing about getting to this point, though, is that your work is really just beginning. Sure, you’ve assembled a team that will execute day-to-day tasks and keep your company chugging along, but you still have a vital job to do: Perpetually grow the business.

This job requires all your skills and know-how as the leader. There are plenty of roles that CEOs can play to help their own companies continually reach new heights. Here are three of those.

Know Your Market

No one said being the CEO of any size company was easy. Think of everything that’s on your plate from day to day. You’ve got finances, leads, sales, operations, attrition, staffing and so on.

Did you notice how none of those areas really dealt with anything outside of the business?

For as crucial as controlling those areas is to running a successful company, CEOs also need to come up for air now and then to take the temperature of their industry. Doing this will tell you how public feelings on your market may have shifted in recent years and what you need to change to stay current.

You might consider performing SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses on your own business as well as your industry competitors. Also, be sure to seek out industry news and events so you can hear directly from your market colleagues about what things are like since you checked in last.

Know When To Approve And Reject Ideas

As the CEO, you are the guiding force of your company. Your decisions shape how your business approaches certain proposals.

To that end, you should know what your organization can handle financially and what you should reject outright. Growth is good, but be mindful of falling into the trap of expanding too quickly. You must always have an eye on your resources and the limitations of those resources.

If you are faced with the decision of investing in a certain area of your business, but you don’t yet know how such a move would ultimately play out for you, set some hard-and-fast criteria for yourself, such as: Would this investment actually boost revenues? Would it make things easier for customers? Will the change pay for itself over a certain period? Does it fix an actual problem?

It’s okay to be aggressive about this if you’re sure in your mind how your decision will play out. Be daring when you need to be, but if you know your business isn’t ready yet for this or that leap, say “no” and be satisfied for now.

Know How To Delegate

It’s probably in a lot of CEOs’ blood to be doers, people who know what they want and how to achieve it. It can be difficult to trust others to accomplish things that you know you could do well if you only had the time.

But you started a business, not a one-person show. You’ve got help around you, and if you want to grow your company, you should learn to rely on the right people to carry out the tasks to which they are best suited. In other words, learn how to be comfortable with delegating tasks.

Delegating still keeps you as the captain of the ship, but it creates better time management all around. You won’t be buried in hard labor, since you’ll have capable managers taking care of things for you.

If you’re a classic type-A personality who struggles with relinquishing that control, take a moment to breathe and think about this.

You wouldn’t give power to someone you thought was unworthy. Chances are that you’ve hired well. Let your team do what it does best. Let operations generate some plans based on your guidance, let finance run its numbers and put some projections together, and so on.

In the end, delegating clears time for you, the CEO, and lets you devote more effort to strategizing, researching the market and going out to catch those big fish.

Closing Thoughts

There’s plenty more I could say on this topic, but I think the three items I listed here have a common theme from which you can conclude one main idea: To grow your small business, you should wield your power smartly and adeptly.

There are many reasons why you are CEO. If you truly want to expand your company, you have to leverage your experience, skills and authority while also knowing when to distribute that authority to others.

No business is guaranteed growth, but the well-oiled companies out there that know what they want and how to get there are primed to grow. You can become one of those starting now.

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