Where is the owner?

 In Business Advice, Business Operations

Where is the business owner?  Is he/she here on premises?  That is one the of most interesting phenomenon in today’s business world!  The business runs– and the owner is no where to be found!  What is going on?


In today’s world, some business owners get the business up and running and then are never there to see how the business runs!  We are familiar with one business where the owner said, “I don’t want to be here any more than I have to– that is why I took a paying job elsewhere!”  Now, that is quite an attitude to possess, especially when this was the real owner speaking.

What happens when the business owner is rarely, if ever on the premises.  Well, the detail steps go un-noticed.  Cleaning, organization, lack of inventory/too much inventory, lack of communication are all signs of challenges and problems when the owner is never around– or rarely on premises.  The “lead individual”, whomever that is tries his/her best to make the decisions, however, in many cases, the owner is the only one capable or authorized to make such decisions.

We are familiar with one enterprise where both co-owners took “second” jobs to not be at the business enterprise.  The result– a continually frustrated staff, frequent miscommunications, lack of attention to detail and lack of dedication on the part of the staff.  A common refrain is, “Well, we hired a manager– he/she is an expert in this business, we don’t need to be here.”  Well, if that was only the case.

Most experts are just that, experts.  However, the expertise that they possessed in another position may NOT be the exact expertise needed, necessary or required in this position.  This is especially true of small businesses.  Warren Buffett buys large businesses and retains excellent managers and leaders.  However, with a smaller business, that is not normally possible.


If you own a business, you need to be working on and in the business every day.  Your customers need to see you there, working to help improve the service, product or feature that is uniquely yours.  If an error or problem occurs, customers and vendors want to know that you are there to fix or adjust the problem now, not tomorrow, next week or next month.

There is no problem in having a good manager help run the business.  However, if you are the owner, you need to be on premises to know and understand all of the pain points of not only the customer, the vendors, but also the staff.  You may be amazed at the results you achieve.

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