Procrastination has become a thing of the past in today’s world. Many books, articles, videos, and podcasts promote the secrets to success. But, with all this content out there, the U.S. hasn’t really broken any productivity records.

Throughout the years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported productivity decrease as the years go by. Not much information is known as to why there is such a drop. Some believe that this decline represents just a portion of the economy. According to experts, the rise of service-based businesses makes it hard to understand the full scope of American productivity. While other experts believe it is due to the lack of infrastructure investments.

There are many ways to affect these measurements. But we must look at the reasoning behind this slow decline in U.S. productivity.

A measure of success

Without a clear and defined goal, measuring progress is nearly impossible. In order to know if you are progressing, you must understand what you are trying to improve.

This holds true for businesses as well. When running a business, you must have milestones, numbers to meet, and set goals to accomplish in order to grow. Measurable goals help to define weaknesses within your company which indicate where improvements are highly needed. A company can be doing good and have a profitable business but once compared to other businesses could prove to be awful.

In most businesses, this success measurements is the managers’ area of expertise. They should know how to keep their team motivated, on task, and meeting the companies goals. They must ensure that every project is done correctly and in service of meeting the business’s specific goals. In most cases, the founder is usually the manager. Although necessary, not always a good thing. Therefore, having clear goals in order to scale will get you out of that role and into the one you deserve.

Different strokes for different folks

Being a good entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good manager. Entrepreneurs are known to be visionaries and managers are able to meet goals. Entrepreneurs are able to inspire their teams by setting goals and are comfortable in taking risks. Managers are not risk takers, instead, they are able to make sure deadlines are met and operations are working smoothly. Managers are able to implement the right work dynamic to make sure there is an optimal success within a business.

In short, entrepreneurs emphasize creating value while managers worry about cutting costs. Both are vital functions for any company, but they’re completely different minds. So how are entrepreneurs able to adopt this “managerial mindset” in the beginning stages of their business?

How to adopt a managerial mindset

This transition is not always a smooth one. But just because it is not easy doesn’t mean that it is impossible. There are many strategies put in place for entrepreneurs to learn from in order to grow and scale their business.

Use numbers. Numbers give an accurate description of how the business is really moving. An instinct within an industry is great, but it will only take you so far. When you learn to rely on numbers to show you how the business is going, you will be much more profitable than if you adopt an instinct only mindset.

In short, if something can be measured, track it! Statistics are on your side and will guide you in the direction of growth.

Study the data over time. A substantial amount of data is always something to fall back on when you are trying to figure out how to improve your business. Sales performance, product engagement, customer acquisition time, and other metrics will help to accurately assess your companies health and give insight on areas that need to be improved. Collecting data can help predict the future of your company, it can show you how you’ve been doing in the past, what improvements truly affected your business and what you can do to increase your bottom line.

Set clear goals for every management level. The higher you go in the managerial ladder, the broader the goals get. At the top level, goals should look something like: Profit margins need to reach X percent of costs of goods sold. Middle and lower levels should be able to adopt specific goals in order to reach set criteria.

Every department needs to be working on separate goals, yet still complimenting each other’s objectives. This minimizes adverse incentives and eliminates frustrations and confusion with employees. Clarity and specificity can save a lot of management headaches as your company grows.

You do not need to sacrifice your entrepreneurial wings to have successful management in place within your company. You do have to be able to differentiate both and know when to use your entrepreneurial mindset and your managerial mindset. All of this comes with time experiences, and willingness to learn. Continue looking for new opportunities for your company, just make sure you look before you jump.


Henry Gross

Henry Gross

Henry Gross is the managing partner at Sutton Funding.

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