Management Articles


Management and the Entrepreneur

By: Gordon L. Simpson

Toronto Managing Partner of The Mansis Development Corporation, Gordon has conducted extensive workshops and seminars on the supervisory and management topics in which Mansis specializes, including performance management, delegation, the hiring and selection process, employee performance problems and performance appraisal. In addition he has worked with many organizations in a consulting capacity in areas related to human resource management, implementing change and team building, and has published articles for a variety of magazines and news publications.

The small business owner/operators and entrepreneurs in general, have contributed much to our economy. We need their innovation and risk-taking to create wealth, generate employment and fuel the economy.

Despite their valuable contributions, it is also fair to say that they could be more successful if they recognized the point where good management should take over the lead role in directing the activities of their organization. By their very nature, entrepreneurs sometimes are not good managers. The skills they possess, so critical to launch an enterprise, are not the same skills required for its long term success. All new businesses reach a stage where experienced managers need to take over responsibility for the continued growth of a company.

It is not easy for entrepreneurs or owner/operators of small businesses, who have worked hard to get a business going, to cede operational control to someone else. Most feel, quite understandably, that it is their company, their invention, idea, product or service and therefore they must retain control to be successful. It is difficult for this group to grasp the idea that a time will arrive when new skills are needed to take the business to the next stage in its development and beyond. Venture capitalists, and other potential investors, place a high premium on the quality of management when making a decision on whether to invest in a new venture or not. Experienced investors and some business schools, believe that quality management with a marginal product or service is a better investment than a better product/service with the inventor, innovator or start-up person remaining in charge.

A skill set of particular importance is in the category of people management. Most entrepreneurs and small business owner/operators have little experience in the motivation and management of people. And this is a critical issue for all managers. Increasing competition and accelerating change in consumer taste and employee demands and expectations pose a constant challenge to all organization leaders.
Success for organizations lies in the commitment and high productivity by all employees from senior management to the rank and file. Achievement of goals and objectives in the long term depends on the performance of all employees. This requires an understanding of motivation and the skills necessary to create a working environment where all employees can willingly work to the best of their ability. Interpersonal skills are therefore very important but are often lacking in entrepreneurs and owner/operators of small businesses.

The benefits of well trained workers using the most advanced technology can be nullified by poor people management practices by managers. It is management that is the link between employees and increased commitment, superior product quality, excellence in customer service and productivity. Competent management is of critical importance to the success of all new enterprises.

It therefore behooves entrepreneurs and owner/operators of small businesses to factor into their business plans the appropriate time to step back and bring in experienced management. It is better to have a smaller piece of a large pie than 100% of a failed business.

© Copyright 2001 The Mansis Development Corporation

Other Articles by Gordon L. Simpson

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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