• Sara Mays

Does Your Schedule Reflect the Importance of People?

Repeatedly, we see expert research demonstrating why small businesses succeed or fail. Many of the reasons are as obvious as the questions on any given episode of Shark Tank. Maybe the product or service really isn’t solving a problem, or maybe there are pricing and competition issues. Regardless of which research you review, you will find many financial and tactical reasons that businesses fail, but if you really look closely you’ll find one big reason- people.

51% of all businesses are failing within the first 5 years, so there’s clearly an opportunity to re-evaluate where our energies are focused. Financial strategy is important, but a people strategy is just as critical.

A report from CBS Insights reflects the following people related reasons for businesses failing in their first year:

· Ignoring Customers 14%

· Disharmony with Team/Investors 13%

· Lack of Passion 9%

· Burnout 8%

Simple math shows that reasons related to people are the cause of businesses failing 44% of the time.

That number is astonishing, but it’s not shocking. How does this happen? I certainly don’t believe that the owner of any business goes into it dismissive of people. I do believe that the pressures around financing and product/service development can be overwhelming. As a result, the people factor is downplayed and unintentionally ignored.

Let’s say you have this amazing idea, and every ounce of energy you have is focused on getting that product or service to the market. Your schedule is centered around meeting with financial and marketing experts to certify that your plans are scalable and achievable. Your focus is on building the foundation to manufacturer and/or sell your goods or services. All are necessary components of building your business. But imagine that you utilize a similar level of focus in hiring your team. Are you hiring team players who are customer centric and passionate? Do they understand the difference between being committed and burning out?

It really doesn’t matter if your team will be two people, 22, or 220. Ensuring you’re hiring the right people for your team will make all the difference for your success or failure.

When are you scheduling the time to focus on people? Whether you are a mature business or a startup, how you spend your time matters. Building your team is a continuous process, regardless of the age of your company. It’s not a task that should be given the time you have left over from your other responsibilities.

People development requires your commitment and energy regardless of what comes your way. How much time do you currently spend on managing the financial components of your business? Now think about how much time you spend interviewing, hiring, training, developing, and communicating with your team. Does your time correspond with your values and the importance of people?

Clarifying your values and ensuring those values are people-centric will ensure the people you hire don’t become statistics and neither does your company. If you need help clarifying your values and developing people-centric systems, we can help. Remember your success is our success.

Sara Mays

Co-Founder & Principal Consultant

The Retail Coach Consultant Group – NY