Business Tips – When to Give up Control
By Nikki Viljoen – Viljoen Consulting (Pty) Ltd
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines ‘Entrepreneur” as “Person in effective control of commercial undertaking; one who undertakes a business or enterprise with a chance of profit or loss; contractor acting as an intermediary” and “Manager” as ‘Person conducting a business institution.’ As you can see they are quite similar but very different.
All the Entrepreneurs that I know have a dream. They are also particularly skilled in whatever it is that they do – but here’s the question – does that mean that they are skilled in “the Business of Business”? The answer, if I am, to be honest, is most definitely not. It’s not from a lack of passion you understand – it’s just that they are usually not particularly interested in the ‘running’ of a business (unless that is what their passion is) and therein lies the dilemma.
You see, at some point, they are faced with a decision and that is “should I continue to manage the company or stick with the dream?”
Whilst the company is small and they’re working out of their garage or one of the bedrooms in their home, this is not really a problem – as the business grows, however, more and more time will be spent on “the business of business”, which is the running of the business and less and less time will be spent on doing what they love, which is what fueled their passion in the first place.
Here’s the thing though, if you are for example a photographer, it doesn’t mean that you know “how to” do the make-up or the books or the HR or even the marketing for that matter. As humans, we can never be ‘everything’ in the business and a lot of what we do that is not our core strength or passion comes at a cost to ourselves as it takes away from what it is that we are passionate about or what it is that we do love to do.
So when is it the right time to hand over the reins and the running of your business? Many folks say that there never is a right time, some say when you are looking for investors or outside capital. To each individual who has faced this particular dilemma the timing and when it should be done, may differ, but what does not differ is the difficultly in making the right choice.
Part of the problem is that many Entrepreneurs are themselves good managers, but that may not be their passion or their dream and most of them think that they can ‘do it all’ themselves. Personally, I think that the first decision that has to be made is ‘how big do you want to grow the company’. How big is the dream? Is it one that will provide you and your family with enough income for you to live adequately or is the dream to own an empire – perhaps it is somewhere in between? Whatever your decision, it is really tough for anyone to relinquish their dream and hand it over to someone else to manage.
Once the decision has been made though, finding the right manager or management team to help you realize your dream is the next step and that often comes with its own particular set of headaches, so making sure that you are clear about what you want and where you want the business to go is of paramount importance.
Ultimately though, it will allow you, the Entrepreneur to do what you do best and that is to ‘dream’ and to turn those dreams into realities.