Being a leader isn’t easy. You often have to take an active part in your work and deal directly with customers and employees; there are not many managers you can rely on, and sometimes none at all. You have to play the manager, the owner, and the leader too. There are many challenges, but the satisfaction of running your own business and leading your team to success is unparalleled.
Below, take a look at a few ways to manage a meaningful – and lucrative – small business, nonprofit, or startup.
Stimulate Others and Make Them Believe In You
Apathy is one of the major problems that small businesses face, and it affects them on all levels, from the owner to the delivery guy. To be a good small business leader it’s important to inspire and stimulate others, to show them that your work has a greater significance for customers, for the community, for them themselves than is apparent.
From your business meetings to your website statement, show the bigger picture. If you sell foods, speak of healthy living and eco farming. If you sell technology, stress how you help make people’s lives easier. Find the metaphor behind your business. But for it to work, you must truly believe in what you preach – you must speak from the heart.
Give Your Employees an Example of Integrity
Integrity commands respect, especially when you show it consistently, even during periods when sales aren’t great or practical problems seem to plague your operations. Whether it’s in the way you handle the firing of an employee who repeatedly failed to perform his duties, or in the way you interact with clients, your employees will be inspired by your integrity and try to emulate it.
Related Post: Meet the 5 pillars that holds proper leadership up.
Communicating with (most of) your employees, whether using regular business meetings or often a more effective personal approach, will give you a clearer idea of how you can improve things. Communicating with customers, on the other hand, helps you understand what you do right and what you do wrong and enables you to improve your products and services, and even create much-needed new ones. Your website, blog, and social media profiles are the most effective ways of communicating with your customers in this day and age.
Reward Achievements and Loyalty
Promotions, bonuses, and salary raises for employees, and special offers, discounts, and loyalty programs for customers – these provide stimulation and encourage people to act, employees to achieve more, and customers to buy more. When you encourage competition between employees and fill customers with a sense of urgency, growing your business and expanding it into neighboring areas will come naturally.
Stay Committed and Dedicated
No business has a smooth and effortless history, not even the small local donuts shop. The difference between the businesses that survive and thrive and those that fail is made not so much by luck and opportunity, but by showing persistence, by being committed to your mission and working toward achieving your goals every day. Here’s how to be strong.
The most powerful tools a small business leader has for spreading his influence, setting a good example, and communicating his vision, are his site and social profiles. We believe it’s crucial that you optimize these, to make them as visible and as friendly as possible.
Image Credit: [Flickr/Demandaj]