Are You a “Hub & Spoke” Business Owner?

Have you ever watched a bicycle wheel? It is easy to be amazed by its simplicity as is rolls perfectly down the road straight and true with no wobbling while providing a smooth ride.

There is a lot of engineering in a bicycle wheel. The perimeter of the wheel contacts the surface while each part of the wheel is supported with a spoke. In turn all the spokes rely on the hub as the central point of support and direction.

Remove the hub of the wheel and image what would happen. The spokes would lose their foundation and start to aimlessly swing around. They would no longer be able to support the perimeter of the wheel causing it to eventually collapse.

Think of your business as a wheel that is moving forward. What would happen if you were not involved every single day or not at all? Would there be chaos? Is it possible that you would start losing customers? Would the business eventually fail? If you answered even a remote “yes” to any of these questions chances are you are a hub & spoke business owner.

Transitioning from being a hub & spoke business owner

Businesses with hub & spoke owners are usually worth less to a new owner. They can also cause an immense amount of stress for the current owner and risk failure in the long term. Here are a few tips to transition from being a hub & spoke owner.

  1. Every wheel needs a hub so the key is to replace yourself as the hub with operating systems and train your staff on the systems. Systems will prevent a lot of “fires”, allow you to use your time on more valuable tasks and generally make life much easier.
  2. Start weaning the business off your presence. Work less hour per week and take short vacations to start. Your staff can be amazingly resourceful when you are not there to baby sit them. If problems do arise while you are away use them as indicators for areas requiring systematization or training.
  3. Start coaching your staff by asking how they would handle different situations. They can be amazingly creative if given the chance. Give them positive feedback to build their confidence. If you find they are on the wrong track then give some advice and explain why they need to proceed in a certain way. This will train them on your thought process resulting in more consistent decisions.

In my experience I have found a very high percentage of businesses are run by hub & spoke owners. Replacing them as the hub is usually one of the biggest factors in the successful transformation of their business. To find out what degree of a hub & spoke business owner you are go to and take the Value Builder Score. You will get your score as a “Hub & Spoke” business owner and the 7 seven other business value drivers that affect the value and profitability of your business.

Tony Malyk

Tony Malyk is a Certified Professional Business Coach and Business Value Accelerator specializing in improving profitability and increasing business value in the manufacturing, distribution, trades and technology sectors.