The Four Stages of Business – Stage 3: The Sweet Spot
Creating a business that is bigger than its owner does not happen by chance. It is the result of intentionally moving through the four stages: The Grind, Delegation, Sweet Spot and Transition. Here is a look at the joys and challenges of stage 3: The Sweet Spot.
Delegation is the key that opens up time for an owner to work ON the business and not IN it. Once a business owner has figured out how to delegate daily tasks to employees, it is time to take a much-needed look at the landscape and the future of the business. What are the industry and competitors doing? What are the business’s strengths and weaknesses? Where do we want to get to? Do I have the leadership skills to get us there?
The Sweet Spot is when the owner can focus almost all of their time on oversight and business development. The owner’s job has evolved from Chief Everything Officer (in the Grind stage), to Teacher (delegation stage) and now to Overseer and Communicator. Remember, that an owner can delegate tasks but not responsibility, so oversight is essential.
Communication also takes on a more important role since the team has grown and the owner must keep everyone working toward the same goal. The owner has time now to re-visit (or develop) a statement that communicates why the business exists; and then each business process and department can adjust so that it operates efficiently and effectively toward that goal.
A business in the sweet spot is not struggling to make payroll each month, they are planning how they can serve more customers and give back to their community.
When a business hires the right employees, delegates effectively and the business owner has time to survey the landscape of the business and plan its course, the business is in its Sweet Spot. Here the hard work of the owner throughout the Grind and Delegation stages is finally bearing much anticipated fruit.
A business owner may enjoy years of business in the Sweet Spot; however, at some point the thought of retirement or the itch for a new adventure will come and then preparations must be made for the Transition stage of the business. The Transition stage ensures the business will keep progressing toward achieving its goals and reaching its destination even after the owner is no longer running it. My next article will discuss this final stage of business.