The BHS tale: are YOU the best person to run your business?

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So…one of the high street’s best known brands, BHS, is no more. 11,000 people have lost their jobs, with many more effected in supporting businesses, and the mutual dislike between those responsible for owning and running the company has become rather distasteful, to say the least, and aired in public.

The previous owner, the most recent owner, and the accountants and lawyers involved in the administration process seem to be the few that have received anything from this sorry mess. But so many have suffered unnecessarily.

So, what can we learn from this sorry tale?

For me, the most obvious lesson is the reminder that owning a business does not automatically mean you are the best person to be leading and running it. Far from it.

In fact, in my experience, this is an error that too many business owners make – often they are not the best people to be running their businesses.

Yet, they diligently risk their and their employees’ livelihoods, or, at least, they restrict the performance and stability of the business by persisting with the view that they should have the ‘top’ job.

To use a sporting analogy, what they’re effectively saying is, “It’s my bat and my ball. Therefore, I automatically make the best captain.”

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Think about it. Most business owners first started their companies because they’re either good at something, or they had a really good business idea. They didn’t start a business because they’re good at running businesses. (By the way, the single biggest reason for business failure in the UK is because of poor leadership and management…just as it was with BHS).

Why do you think so many highly successful businesses of all sizes aren’t led and run by the people that own them? (Of course, there are exceptions). For the simple reason that successful business leadership and management requires a very particular set of skills and experience.

Allowing someone else to run your business will also have one vital benefit (at least): it will allow you to do what you do best, which provides most benefit to the company (and, therefore, you), and is what is most likely to contribute to its future success.

If this short article does one thing, let it be that it encourages you to ask, “Am I the very best person possible to lead and run this business?”

But please don’t try to answer it on your own – you’re biased!

Ask it of all those around you, especially your employees, but also your friends, family, accountant, business adviser (you do have a business adviser, don’t you!)…and insist they give you their honest opinion and reasons.

Don’t be offended if they say you’re not the best person – trust me, it will be for the best in the end.

But, either way, act now with the information you have gained. It’s gold dust!

Good luck!

To find out more about how I can help you improve how your business is led and managed, and ensure it is more resilient and more profitable, please get in touch:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2016. All rights reserved.