Some business owners run their company for many years, only to discover that they can’t do everything on their own. Once this inevitable realization materializes, most start to hire others to help them with various aspects of the business. Some even aspire to be largely absentee owners, leaving the day-to-day operations to a professional manager. So, they train someone up, giving them the responsibility of managing the company and then take a more offhand role, sometimes into a completely new venture or, to focus on one particular area. Typically, this goes fairly well, especially when said manager has been well trained. However, it sometimes ends in utter disaster and the manager winds up making a mess of everything. So, what do you do if you’re stuck in the latter nightmare scenario?
What Good Managers bring to Small Businesses
Before we get into how to fix a bad situation, let’s first look at why business owners hire managers in the first place. Usually, managers are brought on to handle all of the day-to-day activity. This allows the owner to put his or her efforts into expanding the business and even exploring new opportunities. A good manager will bring a nice return on investment, easily paying his or her salary, all while adding to the company’s bottom line.
Bad management can impact employees and a company’s overall operations. Incompetent managers exist, and they can have challenges relating to staff members and keeping them motivated. In addition, substandard supervisors may not be able to balance budgets, increase revenues or capably perform other crucial tasks. —Houston Chronicle Small Business
A good manager can really be an invaluable asset, being able to oversee employees, carry out projects, order materials and inventory, assign employees to various tasks and projects, and a whole lot more. In the end, the manager is also responsible for the public face of the company, particularly when the owners aren’t on site. Of course, there’s a great deal of trust involved here and unfortunately, that trust is sometimes betrayed.
How Business Owners can Fix Mismanaged Companies
If your small business has been mismanaged by an incompetent or uncaring manager, you’ve got your work cut out for you. The amount of damage he or she may have done may not be immediately apparent and will materialize over time. But, you can’t just wait to find out, you’ve got to leap into action immediately and do the following after letting him or her go:
- Talk to the employees. The very first thing you want to do is get a sense of the employees’ perspectives. You’re likely to learn a lot and some of it may take you completely by surprise. But, you’ll probably also get a kind of consensus and that will help you to know precisely what’s most important and how to prioritize what to fix first.
- Speak with vendors. This may sound a little odd but it’s probably worthwhile. Since vendors interact with the managers routinely, they will have different stories to tell and just like the employees, will probably give you some type of consensus. At the very least, you’ll find out how your former manager interacted with the vendors and if he or she had good or bad business relationships.
- Consult your customers. If you haven’t really heard any complaints from customers, this would be highly unusual. Although, your former manager may have been great in providing excellent customer service, while still mismanaging the business’ finances and/or mismanaging the team members. Regardless, getting your customers’ input is very important because it will let you know the reputation of your company.
Lastly, you’ll have to go through the slow and meticulous process of piecing the operation back together. This might include having to make other personnel changes, establishing new relationships with different vendors, and possibly, having to repair customer relationships. Fortunately, a good business consultant can walk you through this very difficult process step by step.
Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group