TOP 3 Reasons Why It’s Time You Hired a General Manager for Your Company

TOP 3 Reasons Why It’s Time You Hired a General Manager for Your Company

Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Work Week fame, challenges business owners to get out of their ‘trapped lifestyle’. He teaches that the key to being rich is to escape the 9-5 routine and reinvent how your work gets done.

Whether you are an aficionado of his philosophy or noticing that the joy of spinning plates while you deal with the crises of the day is wearing a hole in your health, (and not doing much for your bottom line!) here’s how to come to terms with whether its time for you to reinvent how you run your business.

Reason # 3

You are not the best person for the job at the top.
Ouch… actually, you should be feeling some relief if you let that idea float through your mind for a few minutes.Every human has their strengths. Some people have incredible technical skills but are shell-shocked dealing with people issues. Some business owners are dazzling at driving business, but couldn’t organize the back end paperwork to fulfill those promises if left to their own devices.What Are Your Strengths?

It’s time to come face to face with your strengths. The leader at the top should have critical strengths in organizational processes, change management, collaboration, strategic planning, financial management and growth. A great general manager can think in terms of impacts … how a decision to change something in one area will ripple through the business and affect people, processes, productivity or performance.

Is that your strength? If not, your business isn’t getting all the traction it needs to rocket.

A FullFilled Life

What does that mean about you? Nothing. Nada. Unless you decide it does. The most fulfilled people work to their strengths and collaborate with others who work to their strengths. That’s leverage you can bank on.

One of our clients recently recognized that if he wanted to drive his business to the next level and make it saleable one day, his company needed him in the technical role he was brilliant in, not organizing people, processes and paper to get to that next level.

Last week, he delivered a poignant and moving speech to his employees as he delivered his resignation as president. He handed the reigns over to a man that excels at growing companies and took his post as chair of the owners committee and his functional role reporting to the new president.  He’s both sad and relieved … and if pushed, rather excited about the future.

I have no doubt this company now has the secret sauce and the right jet fuel to become a powerful ‘go-to’ company in their newly narrowed niche.

Reason #2

You want a return on your investment in your business. You intend to transfer ownership or sell in the next 5-7 years. 

Smart decision. But did you know that it takes 2-4 years to make a company saleable and transferrable to its next owner? How come? This work involves firing up the management team that you are not a part of.

Build a Team

A saleable company has a management team that has demonstrated they can build a plan, execute it and get the expected results. If you are leading this team, then a prospective buyer does not have the confidence the team can deliver without you.

Even more crucial? If you do a job in the company that is essential for success… like product development, estimating, sales, technical analysis, or you are your brand and everyone does business because of you, your talents or your relationship, then you don’t have a saleable asset. You have a job.

Where do you start? You can’t bring in a General Manager until you’ve learned how to let go.  It’s time to start de-cluttering your job responsibilities list. What does that take? You have to learn how to stop doing everything yourself and instead learn how to mentor people in how to do what you do. Of course, they won’t be able to do it like you can after a few discussions and ‘how to’ sessions.


Apprenticing use to be a time-honoured way of transferring skills and knowledge. Today, people’s impatience makes success impossible. Get yourself a coach, so you learn how to find that patience, delegate, mentor, trust and empower people to work alongside you.

Job Descriptions

Then write the job description for running the business. Separate it from your functional job description. Now think about the attributes of the person you want to hire. Where do you want to take the company? What strengths do you need to complement yours? You don’t need a mini-me. You need a strategic business leader.

Get Out of Your Own Way

Several years ago, a business owner we knew attempted for two years to sell his multi-million dollar highly successful company. When the last of a promising list of prospective buyers said no, he spoke up and asked why. The reason? The company was wildly successful because of the two partners skill sets… it was clear that while the management team was capable, the buyer saw the partners as too integral to the business. Then the buyer said, “To prove to me you’re company is worth buying, I need a general manager that can do what you and your partner have done. I’m buying the future and without you two, all I see is risk.”

Stunned, the business owner nevertheless took the advice to heart. Within six months they had sorted out the role and job description and were interviewing candidates. It took another six months to find the right fit. Then a further 8 months to transfer the knowledge and prove they made a great hiring choice. It’s time for the GM to buy a small stake in the business. Then one day, in the middle of a crucial negotiation over a potential 7 figure deal, the new GM said to the partners, “You are micro-managing this deal. I can’t do what you need me to do if you’re both still here everyday. It’s time for a change.”

The partners looked at each other and started to laugh, not thinking he was serious. After they got over their shock, they admitted it was time. Humbled, they left the building, only to return once a month to check in. So how did the new arrangement work? This year, their GM bought the business from the partners having reached all the milestones they’d agreed to. As a result, the GM got the financing he needed to buy out the partners.

Reason #3

You don’t really drive the business anymore. You’re kind of in a holding pattern. You’ve got a roller coaster profit history and can’t seem to keep prices where you’d like them. It’s the economy right? <

Hmmm… maybe the economy isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s your energy level. For whatever reason you aren’t taking the company where you would like it to grow and you’re out of ideas about how to get it there.

What’s Driving You… Around the Bend

If you asked your spouse, your best friend or your accountant, or even your employees, they all notice you are not really engaged at a strategic level. You get work done… But’s who’s driving the vehicle? Is it time to shake things up at the top?If your desired end result is to deliver more value, make a difference with your products and services or just have an easier life, it might be time to bring in someone to lead the business. Take the back seat.If you feel tired reading this blog, then chances are, you’ve got to make this change. Re-read Reason #3 and #2 so you know how to let go and get clear that your company doesn’t need you to drive it anymore. You can hire the right person with the right talents to do what you don’t want to do anymore… and reap the rewards of their efforts.

Make Smart Choices

What does it mean about you if Reason #1 is ringing a bell? Nothing. Nada. Unless you need it to mean that you are incapable. Life is about making smart choices. Make the choices that satisfy you.Yeah, But Won’t I Lose Control? When you lead a business yourself, you think you have control which gives you reassurance that all will be well. Sorry, but having control does not automatically equate to optimum company performance.

What you really need are reporting systems that tell you what’s really going on under the hood so you and your team can make better decisions based on the feedback you get from your financials, your customers, and your employees. Reporting systems give you levers to control outcomes. Developing those reporting systems takes time and experience (yours, your employees, a consultant).

Is Your Business Ready for Growth?

Take our latest quiz to find out. Submit your results and you’ll get strategies and tips on how to power up your team and your business to attract growth… even in a slow economy.

How to Get Started

Ready to make the switch to that 4 hour work week? You might want strategic help to do it in a way that works for you and your business. You can schedule a 30 minute complimentary call with us to explore how we can help you get the satisfaction you deserve.

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