We sometimes hear from business owners a real frustration about not being in full control of their business and almost a sense that it “owns” them! It can be tricky to strike a balance in business ownership. The relationship between a business owner and their business can vary widely depending on various factors, including the nature of the business, the owner’s management style, and external circumstances. It’s not accurate to make a broad statement that either the owner completely controls the business, or the business completely controls the owner. The reality is often more nuanced.

Here are 5 key considerations to find balance in business ownership:

1. Control Factors:

The level of strategic decision-making exerted by the owner makes a huge difference in finding balance in business ownership. Business owners typically have significant control over strategic decisions, such as business goals, direction, and major investments. If these are not regularly and thoroughly implemented, then the level of control will diminish.

Management style plays an important role. An owner’s approach to management influences the level of control they maintain. For example, effective delegation can enhance control, while micromanagement may lead to a feeling of being controlled by day-to-day operations.

2. Challenges to Control:

Market forces and other external factors like market trends, competition, and economic conditions can impact a business. While an owner can adapt their strategies, they may not have absolute control over these external influences. This is even more difficult in tougher social and economic times.

The degree of operational dependencies can also be challenging. The size and complexity of a business can affect the owner’s ability to control every aspect. For example, in larger organisations, certain functions may operate semi-autonomously which means the owner must develop an effective layer of operational management with strong communication.

3. Personal Choices:

Work-life balance can either increase or reduce an owner’s level of control. When there is balance, there is more resilience, focus and ability to adapt. However, these are all diminished when an owner does not allow themselves a balanced personal life. Over-commitment, long hours and constant involvement may make it feel like the business controls the owner and will eventually wear them down.

Effective delegation is a most effective tactic to retain control of a business. It empowers employees and can enhance the owner’s control by allowing them to focus on higher-level decision-making.

4. Financial Considerations:

The financial stability of a business is a very common determinant of whether a business owner feels in control or not. One of the core reasons to be in business is to create a wealth base for the owner and their family. The financial health of a business can impact the owner’s sense of control. Challenges such as cash flow issues or debt may create high stress levels and a feeling of being controlled by financial constraints.

5. Adaptability:

The ability to adapt to change is an effective way for owners to regain and retain control. Businesses need to adapt to changes in the market, technology, and consumer preferences. The owner’s ability to adapt and lead through change influences their level of control. The better you can adapt, the more control you will have.

In essence, successful business ownership often involves finding a balance between exerting control over the business and being responsive to external factors. Owners who can effectively navigate challenges, delegate responsibilities, and adapt to changing circumstances are more likely to feel in control of their businesses. It’s a dynamic relationship that requires ongoing attention and management.

If you’d like to learn more about how to apply these concepts better in your own business, contact us for a no obligation coffee catch up.