Leadership in SME’s part one – driving economic growth

The place of the entrepreneurs, particularly those who start up small to medium size enterprises (SME’s), is quite rightly acknowledged as essential to the economic growth of the country. What is not so readily or easily recognised is that entrepreneurship invariably involves stress.   

This could include the personal stress on the business owner (entrepreneur) just meeting the busy day to day demands of their business, let alone the pressure that may be added if they buy into the entrepreneur’s war cry that their business ‘needs to innovate or die’. Many of these hard working owners may then find themselves going on courses or sending time and energy seeking out the magical formula that will save them!

Whilst innovative entrepreneurship is vital to the economic growth of the country, it does not necessarily make economic sense for the SME to become obsessed by it. A simple review of the courses that teach entrepreneurship might point to a more practical and simply effective approach that can enable the business to make more money, more easily.

Why? Because if the innovation art of entrepreneurship is isolated from those courses, what is left is a focus on the management skills of planning, co-ordination, administration, control and routine supervision of the business. What smaller businesses often lack is access to the latest insights and to the experience of how to effectively acquire those skills in a way that takes the individual way that their business (and themselves) is structured to work.  

All business systems are unique in that way and it is the role of the business coach to bring the business insight and help the owner shape their bespoken business specific approach.

  • Being effective (that is doing the right things at the right time).

  • Driving efficiencies (that is using the fewest possible resources to get things done).

  • Negotiating economy (that is acquiring those resources at best value).

Focusing on these things may increase profits more assuredly than the effort and risk associated with having to be innovative. Once the business is being managed with ease, the time and space to reflect on how to innovate will become more comfortably available.

The first role of the SME leader, is therefore be good at managing.

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