Cultivating ownership mindset to maximize your business value


Cultivating ownership mindset to maximize your business value

By , February 6, 2024
Cultivating ownership mindset

Working on your business, not in it. I’m sure you’ve heard this sentiment, especially if you want to increase business value. It makes sense, right? However, growth doesn’t happen by itself, and if it does, it won’t be sustainable if you’re not actively engaged in strategic planning.

But maximizing value isn’t just about business development. Working on your business shifts you from short-term thinking into long-term thinking. You disengage from the fires you put out every day and zoom out to see the bigger picture. You reconnect with business goals and reflect on the barriers that are stopping you from achieving them.

As a business owner myself, I know it’s easy to talk about the importance of working on your business and not so easy to put it into practice. Unfortunately, time isn’t on your side. Day-to-day operations are relentless, and it’s not uncommon to lose a whole year without actioning any ambitious plans you have had swirling around in your mind.

I can tell you; every business owner empathizes with this problem. And some will think it’s theirs to solve alone. But did you know you can inspire your staff to work towards top-level business goals? If you instill an ownership mindset into your team, they will help maximize the value of your business alongside you.

The importance of an ownership mindset to value acceleration

First, let’s define an ownership mindset. An ownership mindset is when your employees think and act like business owners. They have agency. They not only feel valued but they are actively contributing to the direction of the business and want it to succeed.

Why do you want your employees to have an ownership mindset? As I mentioned in Ownership Mindset: The business model explained, if you successfully instill an ownership mindset into your team, it creates a “culture of accountability, purpose and profit.” Like a school of fish swimming in the same direction, you and your employees align with the company’s vision and move in synchronicity to make the business better.

But how do you instill an ownership mindset? That’s the big question. Achieving employee ownership takes more than a few inspiring meetings and corporate platitudes. It takes a tangible incentive to get buy-in. Enter Employee Share Plans – one of the most effective ways to create an ownership mindset and maximize value.

Employee Share Plans have the following benefits:

  • Cultivates an ownership mindset
  • Improves staff performance
  • Creates a motivated and inspired workplace culture
  • Attracts and retain valuable staff
  • Improves staff retention
  • Generates higher profits
  • Builds employee wealth
  • Improves the long-term value of your company

We have found that Employee Share Plans attract, retain, motivate, and reward key employees and have been a massive part of creating long-term success.

How to set up an Employee Share Plan (ESP)

You may be thinking, okay, let’s do this. Let’s get my employees into an ESP. Just keep in mind that it’s essential to create an Employee Share Ownership Plan that is:

  • Attractive to employees
  • Transparent
  • Easy to implement
  • A win, win, win scenario where all stakeholders are better off
Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.

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