Contributed By

Todd Goodbinder

Todd Goodbinder

Senior Vice President, Sales and Customer Loyalty of Comcast Business

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Suffering from Small Business Syndrome?

July 14, 2014

Do you have trouble delegating responsibility? Do you find yourself regularly singling out employees for making mistakes? Do you have high employee turnover? If the answer is "yes" to these three questions, you may have small business syndrome.

Get healthy with these tips.

Do you have trouble delegating responsibility? Do you find yourself regularly singling out employees for making mistakes? Do you have high employee turnover? 

If the answer is "yes" to these three questions, you may have small business syndrome.

As a leader, you have the responsibility to create a work environment that fosters the ability and desire of employees to act in empowered ways – this includes removing the barriers that limit the ability for staff to act in ways that help them feel powerful. Small business syndrome happens when an entrepreneur insists on controlling every aspect of his/her organization’s activities, giving employees little or no power. Unfortunately, this behavior impacts the growth of your business.

If you plan to grow your business, you must learn to trust the employees you hire, and give them the ability to make decisions. 

Here are some tips to help you shake this unfortunate syndrome.

Communicate your company vision

As a small business owner, it might seem obvious to you what your company’s mission, values and vision are since you’re giving 110 percent to your business every day. But to your employees, it may not be quite as clear. Take some time to think about the following three statements. Write them down and then share them with your employees.

  • What do you want to achieve in operating your business?
  • What are your business values? (Integrity? Honesty? Self-Improvement?)
  • What impact do you want to make now? Five years from now? 10 years from now?

Your employees need to fully understand what it is that makes you and your company tick. The result of sharing your dreams and inspiring others to do whatever it is you’re aspiring to do is employee empowerment. 

Whether you’ve got one employee or 20, it is important that roles and responsibilities are clearly articulated before the first day on the job. Think through the position you are hiring for, identify critical components of the job, show them how to do the job, and give your employees every opportunity to gain proficiency – even if they do not mirror how you would do it exactly. Meet with your employees periodically to answer questions, review performance and offer constructive feedback. And then… 

Let it go!

Give your employees the opportunity to do the work you hired them to do, and refocus your efforts on growing your business. 

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