Development Starts at Home

Originally Published on SMEweb 13/06/12

Taking time to evaluate yourself and your business could help you get to your end goal at a much faster speed.

There’s a reason why it’s called “running” a small business. The role of a small business owner can be relentless, to the point where they feel like they are on treadmill – expending lots buy generic keflex online of energy but not getting anywhere fast. But the thought of stopping for a moment and taking stock can seem like an alien concept.

However, taking time to evaluate themselves and their business could help them get to their end goal at a much faster speed. Development starts at home.

It’s imperative that the business owner leads the development. Put simply, the speed of the leader determines the speed of the pack. In addition, the leading members of a business have the biggest impact on the culture, and consequently have the largest propensity to change the culture of the company.

Be willing to change

Companies today, more than ever, need to be nimble and ready and willing to change. Quite often companies products or services are still required by the market but how they are delivered needs to change. As an analogy, it’s similar to the way consumers want to have access to music. People have transitioned from Vinyl LPs to CDs to today’s MP3 players and iTunes. The end result is the same but the delivery mechanism is far more efficient and feature-rich.


This acceptance and active pursuit of change within a company is a top-down process. There is no status quo, companies are either growing or declining. Another modern phenomenon of 21st century companies is that they have a flatter organisation structure with all staff needing to be more flexible and take on varying roles. Employees will be far more tolerant of change and be more flexible – even excited by change – if there is a clearly stated vision from the leader of where the company is heading.

Another reason why taking time to develop themselves is so beneficial is that it helps the business owner recognise and address their business growing pains. Many business owners have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, which helped them start their business in the first place. But as a business grows beyond the start-up phase, some of these entrepreneurial traits can actually start to work against them.

Acquire new skills to grow

At this stage it could be important to put processes and systems into place to help grow the business and add structure – which may feel like a departure from the free thinking from which the business was originally founded. Plus entrepreneurs have a tendency to believe they need to invent everything themselves, so the idea of learning from someone else’s experiences can be foreign to them.

When this happens, the entrepreneur business owner can become the bottleneck for the growth of the business. They have been used to doing everything in the business and can find it very difficult to delegate. They require new skills to help them truly lead from the front without having to do every task themselves. Recognising they need new skills is the first step.

At this stage they should look at suitable content training that gives them practical topics in a format that encourages growth in a safe environment. Many businesses may take comfort in choosing development options that enable them to share experiences and learning’s with other small business owners, who will be going through the same growing pains as them.

Sometimes we learn more by making mistakes than we do by getting things right first time. But taking time out to reflect and develop the business owner could be the making, not breaking, of a business.

Written by Shaun Thomson, CEO of Sandler Training in the UK

Originally Posted on SMEweb 13/06/12

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Blog Editor

Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email:

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