Starting a small business has its perks. We can follow our own creative senses, plan our own timelines, and listen to no one else’s orders but our own. But when the business begins to grow and employees come on board, we must adjust. We are accustom to leading ourselves through our business ventures, but how do we instill the same level of passion, drive and commitment to quality in our growing team? How do you direct people through the ins and outs of the processes you could do in your sleep?
Today we will share tips on how to go from being your own boss to being the boss of others, and becoming the most effective leader you can be for your company. After all, if you don't lead, who will?
Know Yourself as a Leader
Before we can direct others, we must know ourselves as leaders. There are many different styles of management. Knowing our approach to management is important before we begin taking on the leadership of others. Having the ability to express to our team how we lead, manage, and oversee our company will make the business run a lot smoother instead of guessing which strategies work best for us on the spot.
Be Clear About Employee Expectations
We must be clear about what is expected from our employees. As a small business owner, we know what our vision looks like, but it is often hard for communicate that with our employees. But don't be afraid to share with your team how your business started and your dreams for the future.
When assigning tasks, communication is key. Be straightforward about the deadlines and goals for each project. To ensure you are being heard, check in with your employees every so often. Ask about their progress with the projects and if there is any confusion. Open and frequent communication is key to keeping your employees tuned in on what is expected of them.
Become a Good Listener
Good communication and leadership doesn’t only mean expressing our ideas and giving clear instructions. It also means truly listening when others share their ideas with us. We don’t only hire new employees to be a helpful hand with our simple tasks, but to expand our company with richer ideas, new concepts, and thoughtful solutions. As a self-starter, we followed our own intuitions, but now we must listen to other ideas and thoughts on how to improve our business. Just as we offer our staff feedback on their work, we should ask their reactions and observations on the way things run in our company.
Employees yearn to be lead by those who genuinely care about them as a valuable worker with unique capabilities, not just a replaceable resource. Taking the time to listen to your employees will create a bond of trust and show them they are valued. The more your staff feels like they are heard and viewed as an essential part of your business, the more motivated they will become to contribute their best work and follow your lead!
Make a Long-term Plan
In the midst of guiding your staff and staying on top of day-to-day tasks, sometimes it is hard to see the big picture of your company’s goals. Take the time to create a long-term plan for your small business. Keeping a bigger picture in mind will allow you and your employees to strive to work hard to reach these larger goals for your business. While making these plans, be sure to stay on top of the financial aspects of your company goals. As a small business owner, looking out for pitfalls and road bumps with finances is an important task and doing so will help you more effectively stabilize your workload.
You clearly had enough passion to start a small business on your own. Enthusiastic leaders are seen to be more optimistic and open to change, creating a more positive and flexible environment for employees. Leaders must believe in themselves, the people they lead, and the business they are trying to run. Being affirmative, expressive, and energetic is infectious! Seeing the fiery passions that drive your business will set a great example to employees to engage in their passions, be involved with your company, and believe in themselves.
We are not all born leaders, but with persistence and strong passions for what we do we can develop the skills it takes to lead our business to success. Which trait do you think makes you a great leader for your small business?
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