A few years ago I learned one of the great secrets to small business success. I have always thought that business success comes from a variety of factors – passion, experience, smarts, savvy marketing, the willingness to adopt new technology, great service, emotional intelligence, and luck, to name a few.
But I never guessed that the sort of boss you are turns out to be a key, critical factor in determining your entrepreneurial success.
Here’s how I know: I read a survey commissioned by the franchise industry. They wanted to know why some franchisees were successful while other, similarly situated ones, were not. It was important to learn this because bad franchisees are a problem. They often sue the franchisor, they hurt the brand, they badmouth the business, and are generally a pain in the rear. So the franchisors commissioned a study whereby hundreds of franchisees were surveyed. They studied the successful, the mediocre, and the failures alike.
And what the survey found was incredibly illuminating.
It turns out that the most important factor in forecasting whether a business will be successful or not is whether the owner is a good boss or a bad boss. Good bosses were consistently far more successful in business than their jerk brethren. Indeed, it was those franchisees who took care of their employees – who listened and were reasonable, and who sincerely valued their staff and acted that way – who had the most success in business. They made more money, were happier, and had higher customer loyalty.
And of course, the opposite is true too. We have all been in the business where the bad boss rules with an iron fist. It’s a wonder they stay in business, and now we know why.
All of which begs the question: What sort of boss are you? Of course these are tough times and being a good boss is not quite as easy as it used to be, especially when employees value money over all other motivators.
But it is equally true that being a good boss goes far beyond offering a decent wage and a good health plan, right? Do you treat employees well? Are you respectful? Do you listen and take suggestions? Is yours a good place to work? How is employee morale? The franchise survey proves these are not just academic or feel-good questions. Being a good boss determines, to a great extent, your success in business. That is an important thing to keep in mind.