When you first started your small business, you did so with a vision in mind. You established goals, considered who your business will serve, and set standards regarding the service you want to provide. As you add employees to your team, share your vision to give them direction. Giving everybody something tangible to work towards will keep them motivated and feel like they’re serving a truly great purpose.
This might be your first time working in a leadership position, and if that’s the case, it’s important to find a leadership style that’s true to your personality and effective in running your business. Will you take a hands-on approach in leading your team, and participate in the day-to-day operations? Will you focus on the big picture, keeping only your goals in mind and letting others handle the small stuff? Read up on different leadership styles and find one that works for you and your business.
We’ve all had that one boss who expects us to pour all of our time and energy into their business, asking us to come in early and work late… only to pop in and out of the office so they can run personal errands and go golfing at their leisure. As a small business leader, you set the standard for all of your employees. Don’t expect them to work hard, stay motivated, and do it all with a smile on their face unless you do the same. Inspire your team to push themselves every day, and don’t allow yourself to set double standards.
Your small business is your baby, and it’s natural to think that you can juggle all of its day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, as your business grows, this won’t be possible. Learning to delegate is critical in not only managing your sanity, but your business as well. Choose someone trustworthy and reliable, and train them to handle some of the tasks that you’re swamped with. As your team grows, you’ll eventually have to hire managers as well. You can’t do it all - even though you’ll probably try to. Your team members are here to help, so let them.
As your business grows, so will your team. It’s important to make an effort to stay involved at every level, from administrative to management. If you’re not in the office on a daily basis, make a point to drop by or schedule a lunch with your team. Don't just show your face; connect with your employees, ask how they’re doing, and find out if there’s anything you can do to make their jobs easier. If your employees know that you care, they’ll be more interested in helping you accomplish your goals.
Becoming an effective business leader takes commitment, and it won’t happen overnight. Remember to be devoted not only to your business and your goals, but to your team as well. Share your vision, set the standard, stay connected - and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.