Are you a productive business owner? How do you define and measure your own productivity?
What does a productive owner do? I suggest that you are productive if:
- You are clear about the mission, purpose and current goals of your business.
- You make progress every day toward those goals in a way that gives you satisfaction and happiness.
Although your purpose in the early days may have been simply to generate enough income to feed your family, your purpose has now changed and you are beginning to think about transitioning or selling your business. In addition to building enough wealth to provide for a comfortable retirement, you may wish to look after loyal employees and customers, as well as ensure your legacy.
While your goals may have changed, the process of reaching them has not. First, define what “success” looks like. Imagine it’s time for you to hand over the keys to your office. Is it a sad or happy day? A day of mourning or rejoicing? Are you filled with regret or confident that you are leaving a business in good shape for someone else to continue?
Once you can visualize, articulate and put the goal in writing, you can develop the strategies to get there. Productivity becomes the measure of what you do every day in the process of executing those strategies. Set up a Daily Scorecard that enables you to assess at the end of each day, “How well did I succeed at moving these plans forward?” For example: “On a scale of one to ten, how well did I…
- Move toward having documented processes for each critical piece of our business? This includes delegation and review of progress.
- Prepare my management team to take on new responsibilities?
- Identify new ways of creating wealth for the company and my family?
- Plan and execute activities that were aligned with my bigger goal?
Marshall Goldsmith wrote an insightful book called What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, an apt title for considering your own productivity. If you are still busy doing the things you did twenty years ago, you’re not productive at today’s job description: assuring the successful transition of your business.