As a business owner and chairman of ASA, I often find myself wishing for more time. It’s not an unusual situation, and one that most of you reading this I’m sure have experienced. Growing a business while raising a family is a team sport and finding a balance between work and life is critical to your well-being and success. You must be equally involved in both with quality time.
With family, quality time is pretty much understood as taking time to be part of each day of your loved one’s lives. Business appointments can be rescheduled; missing an important life event can’t. Having quality time with our families is Job 1 and providing ourselves opportunities to do so is the reason we work.
Quality time in your business means paying attention to the details to know what you don’t know. It also means working on your business, not in it. Entrepreneurs tend to micromanage, but the best of us realize the importance of hiring the right people with the right skill set, then letting them do their jobs. As a leader, your job is to provide opportunities for growth for your team. The better you become at identifying those opportunities, the more successful your team will be.
As I said, there will never be enough time, so you have to maximize that limited resource so that it all becomes quality time when growing your business. Have you adopted a learning culture within your organization where each team member has specific training and education goals? Are you working enough on ensuring your customer service and communication is world-class? Are you looking beyond your four walls to stay abreast of what’s happening in the industry? In today’s world, even the smallest businesses have to act locally and think globally to recognize the trends that lead to the next great opportunity.
Just as you set aside quality time for family, you need to get involved to share quality time with your peers. Being able to network and share different points of view provides that local information which leads to a more global understanding of what’s next. Some do it by volunteering to serve on boards, committees or industry organizations. Others just take the time to share their views at industry meetings and events. However you choose to get involved, what you learn will almost certainly return value, and that is quality time well spent.
ASA was created to provide many of these quality time opportunities, and I have personally benefited from my involvement with other outstanding shop owners. Remember, your ASA membership is one of your most powerful tools in getting ready for what’s next.