When you are a small business owner you have to wear a lot of hats. On some days, too many. It’s hard to remain 100% focused on everything at once. Sometimes, I imagine a juggler with too many balls and he’s wobbling around my desk trying not to drop one of them. If you’ve ever tried juggling, isn’t it amazing that when you do drop one, you usually drop the others?
As an executive recruiter, one of my main business focuses is on people. Clients are people, candidates are people. Essentially, we are in the people business.
Now that we’ve been in business for a few years I have noticed an interesting pattern. When we focus on growth, numbers, figures, profit and loss, taxes due, ROI, year over year growth, etc. the business takes a nose dive. Things become slow and painful and coming to work everyday is a challenge.
Alternatively, when we are really busy and focused on the people, everything falls in to place and deals are made and placements happen. Our days are filled with excited candidates who are taking big steps in their careers and clients are happy about bringing top talent to their teams.
When we focus on the people, business growth comes on its own. Which means that the bills and taxes are paid, our plan numbers are easily met and usually surpassed. People are what make the business successful.
When we focus only on driving success, from a numbers perspective, that doesn’t necessarily bring success.
No company can stay open without examining every aspect of the business. We were so busy our first two years that I never even made a budget. Not only did we not have a budget but I didn’t really know what our spending looked like and where we could reduce costs or where we should be increasing spending. Tackling the budget made us more stable and ensured that we stay profitable and, lets face it, open.
Despite needing to have a solid grasp of “the business” I just wanted to remind everyone, including myself, that real growth doesn’t come from planning and goals and KPI’s and targets. Those are all great measurement tools but focusing too intently on numbers alone means you are missing what really drives success, the people.
This also applies to you if you are a manager.
Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the people. When you do that, your people will meet the business goals. Give them the chance to amaze you.