Maryann Croce’s Coach’s Corner: Gain control – assess your resources regularly 

Maryann Croce

As a business owner and leader, you have a lot of responsibility. You’re responsible for your business success. 

As of 2019, only 10.6 % of the population are small business owners.  According to August 2020 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of U.S. small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of their fifth year, roughly 50% have faltered.

If you’ve made it past five years as a business owner, consider yourself a survivor. But surviving doesn’t mean your business is profitable, sustainable or enjoyable. 

Many who are struggling believe it’s forces outside of their control.  One owner recently told me “Maryann I feel like my business is eating me for breakfast.” Then we unpacked what was happening.

Some business owners experience an awakening when their sacrifice of time becomes too great and affects their relationships, health, or a loved one’s health. They realize they can only do so much in a day, and if they don’t take control of their business, it will end up controlling them. 

Successful business owners are those who are create the best business for them. One that they have control of. When it comes to control, I see many owners getting stuck with assigning tasks instead of outcomes. When you assign tasks team members will come back to you for another task. This can drain your energy. It’s best to assign outcomes. Example: theses three vehicles need to be completed today.   You can then allow your team to be flexible and adaptable. You empower them to make decisions and be accountable. 

The First Step to Gaining Control 

Assess your resources. The same resources we all have. With this data you will be able to make informed decisions and a plan.

  • Money
  • Time
  • People
  • Skills

Money – Even a small business needs working capital. Many start their business without enough money for monthly cash flow, never mind weathering a downturn. To combat this most are willing to give up their time, doing everything in their business to save money. 

Time– Since many dedicate endless hours without pay to pursue their dream, they don’t realize that they are making much less, when they compare their income to the hours they work. 

People– I find that many business owners wait too long to hire help. They believe they are giving up control when in fact they will gain control of their business. By handing off activities that others are better skilled at, owners can focus on goals. Successful owners realize some point, they can’t do all and do it well. 

Skills – Ask yourself these questions. 



  • What skills does a successful owner need to have? 
  • How do you acquire or develop these skills?
  • What are you good at and what do you need to let go of?
  • How much time and money have you invested in yourself?

Remember the challenge for many shop owners is the habits and routines created in the early years don’t serve you, your team or business for long. 

Many in the industry dream of having a million-dollar shop. But a million-dollar shop doesn’t mean  success if it isn’t profitable, sustainable or enjoyable. 

The good news is it doesn’t take massive change. Small shifts can make an impact on your business and give you the control needed to have a million-dollar shop that is a profitable, sustainable, and enjoyable business.  

For the Next Couple of Weeks.

Keep track of the activities you are doing each day and the time it takes you. At the end of two weeks see where you’ve spent most of your time. Then go back to the skills questions and ask yourself them again. You’ll discover the activities that should be delegated or outsourced to free up your time.

What would you do if your business was more profitable, sustainable and enjoyable? Think of what this could do for your team, your business, and your relationships with loved ones. Creating a successful business that works for you is achievable.

Maryann Croce coaches automotive shop and trade business owners who are ready for the work-life balance they dream of.  Imagine working fewer hours, earning more money, and looking forward to starting your day. You can have a profitable, sustainable, and enjoyable business that isn’t solely reliant on you.