We are familiar with the lines of a functional organization such as Sales, Finances, Human Resources, Operations, and Research. The six principles of small business management view the company from a holistic perspective that works in all functional lines.
- Mission, Vision and Values
- Issues and Decisions
- Leadership and Management
Mission, Vision and Values
What is the business’s mission statement? A Mission Statement is a short document describing mission, vision and values. Mission is the reason the company exists. Vision is what the company is aiming to achieve, for those it serves as well as for itself. Values describe how the business conducts itself.
Many observe that businesses are a reflection of its leaders. Businesses tend to conduct itself in similar ways to its leadership. Do we as business leaders have personal mission statements that are congruent with the businesses we are leading?
A mission statement is paramount; it is the compass for all stakeholders in the business; pointing the way and providing guidance to get there.
An owner employs people to carry out the day to day operation of the business. Do the employees have the abilities and training to do their work? Does each employee clearly understand their role in the organization? Are these tasks in line with employees abilities, passions and objectives? Do all stakeholders understand and have bought into the company’s mission statement?
How is the business doing? Key quantitative metrics are required to gauge a business’s heath and performance. The need to be monitored on a regular basis. Are there systems in place to provide this information in a timely and efficient manner?
Do your customers enjoy the same consistent sales experience irrespective of who is serving them? When an employee is absent, can another employee or temp fill in and operate in the same consistent way? Consistency is the result of the processes and procedures on which the business operates. Are the crucial processes and procedures in the business documented and applied?
Issues and Decisions
All businesses have issues that need addressing. How do employees deal with issues and mistakes? Are mistakes in the open or hidden? Issues require tough decisions? How are issues tracked and managed through to their conclusion? Do the proposed solutions take the business closer to its vision.
Leadership and Management
Small business owners are leaders. Do the employees share and project the owner’s vision and values? Are staff responsible and accountable for their work? Leadership maps the journey to accomplish the mission and vision by setting objectives. Management develops action plans and coordinates the efforts of others to achieve the objectives. As Steven Covey put it: “Producers do ‘it’. Managers get ‘it’ done. Leaders decide what ‘it’ is.”