Managing a business brings with it a great deal of parallels to being a parent.
While it certainly is a labor of love, running the shop is an unrelenting stream of tasks, maintenance and caregiving, the need for which may arise at any time of day. Constant attention is required and an indefatigable spirit is necessary to ensure growth and upkeep. Then imagine having a second. And a third. And…
The obvious positive is having multiple locations presumably means your business is profitable and successful. More places mean more faces and ideally more customers. But it also means top management has a more filled plate and with it less time and ability to be as focused on any one spot.
Success in multiple management can come from having the various locations be independent, self-sufficient outlets while still being part of the family. Each place will develop its own culture and personality but it is vital to establish a system to which all staff under your umbrella will adhere. If new hires and current employees are trained in this system, it will maintain consistency in performance, output and customer experience.
Of course, it sounds easy enough but managing locations and staff who are not within immediate earshot presents another set of challenges. Setting up a regular schedule of communication between management and locations is an obvious method to keep open the exchange of ideas and promote organization.
At the very least, have a weekly conference call with all location managers mandated to be present. That will give you a chance to deliver and receive information and help keep everyone on the same page. Ever-evolving technology makes it so easy to make it feel as if you’re in the same room. Take advantage of this to foster unity among all your staff. If possible, have calls or digital “visits” with individual locations as well. This will let staff members feel important and valued – as well as remind them of your presence. Additionally, it lets you address a multitude of issues with just one phone call.
Thinking bigger, try to set up a call on which the full staff is included. Give them an opportunity to share anecdotes, both positive and negative. Ultimately decisions and practices will come from you. But creating a medium whereby those on the front lines of your business can share their experience will enable – and empower – everyone to benefit. That’s good management.