Owning a small business can be a difficult task when you’re forced to maintain multiple areas of the business to ensure its expansion and profitability. As a leader, it’s in the best interest of your business to create a productive environment and company culture that empathizes with employees.

If you’re accustomed to adopting different roles within your business, it’s invaluable to understand the benefits of management skills that can help to lighten your load, improve workflow and help you accomplish your business objectives.

It’s important to evaluate the skills that you need to develop as a manager by assessing the areas in which you’re lacking. Fortunately, the skills of a manager can be taught, trained and deployed at little cost, so we’ve put together 6 management skills to drive success within your company.

Plan Ahead

The skills of a manager go beyond delegating tasks to your employees. A leader takes charge by building a strategy to achieve business goals and help the company grow. Whether your plan is to improve the company’s bottom line or respond to a crisis, your decisions will impact the outcome.

Strategic planning involves allocating your company’s resources to areas in which your business can scale and achieve greater revenue.

It’s important to plan strategically in:  

  • Your brand identity and strategy. This involves more than just your company logo and color scheme. The brand strategy identifies how you’re perceived by your customers and the way you want to be regarded. 
  • The company mission statement and your vision
  • Your business and marketing goals
  • SWOT analysis
  • Your company’s key performance indicators, so that you can leverage the data to create and implement future strategies
  • An industry analysis and competitor research

When planning ahead, it’s important to identify potential problems before they happen to ensure that you’re prepared with a solution. If an issue reaches a critical stage, a dependable leader will adapt and leverage a strategy to find a suitable solution. Leadership is about being proactive as opposed to reactive—and that’s the best way to push forward and succeed.  

Clear Communication

As a business owner and leader, your passion is to drive the success of your business. It’s difficult for all of your employees to share this vision without communicating the importance of your goal and enabling clear and concise communication between yourself and your employees.

Communication is a core fundamental of managing a successful business, and it’s crucial for leaders to cultivate open, free communication to improve processes and procedures.  

Through clear communication, you can:  

  • Set your level of expectancy from your employees
  • Streamline processes between you and your team by making sure everyone is on the same page
  • Build a solid foundation of trust
  • Develop individual relationships with your employees which enables you to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses
  • Review workers on their performance and offer ways they can improve
  • Collaborate effectively with team members and leadership

Developing a system for clear communication can be as simple as ensuring team members regularly check and respond to emails or taking advantage of messaging tools such as Slack or project management tools to update the progress of tasks.

Communication is a two-way street. As a leader, you need to listen to your employees. This entails listening for words, tone and body language to actively understand how you can improve business operations.

Delegate Deliberately  

As a small business owner, you may have come to terms with the fact that you can’t do everything yourself. Even if you have the required skill set, finding the time to manage every aspect of your business can be a harrowing undertaking.

To avoid misusing your time, it’s important to delegate tasks to your team in an efficient manner that takes advantage of their strengths. A leader that can effectively delegate tasks can assign and reassign work between his team to keep within the tight constraints of deadlines and improve the company’s productivity.

On the macro scale of your business operations, it’s valuable to assign your employees to areas of the business where your skills are lacking. For example, small businesses often have 10 employees or less, and if you’re good at marketing but not savvy at sales, it would be beneficial to delegate sales tasks to an employee that’s more qualified.

Boosting Morale

When leading your small business, it can be beneficial to productivity, morale and employee engagement if you’re a leader that drives employees or stakeholders. By motivating the rest of the company, you increase your employee’s focus and achieve a desired result or objective.

When motivating your employees, it can be as simple as engaging with them in personal conversation more frequently. Alternatively, employee motivation can be increased by offering bonuses in the form of cash or vouchers. This encourages your employees to work towards an objective that increases their performance.

Motivational leaders that inspire confidence in their employees show gratitude towards their workforce. Praising your employees when they perform well will boost their morale and inspire them to work harder.

It’s important to regularly review and evaluate your employees. Your employees will feel appreciated if they’re given regular feedback on areas where they’re performing well and areas where they can improve. This provides the perfect opportunity to integrate training courses for your team to develop their skills and make them feel valued as a member of the business.   

Lead by Example

We live in an age where we seek mentorship, guidance and leaders that inspire through action. When we see others performing at their best and under duress, we want to mirror that behavior.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective business management skills is to lead by example. By inspiring your colleagues through your own actions, you pave the way for them to follow in your footsteps. For example, tackling a problem with empathy and exercising patience to find a solution can inspire your employees to do the same when a situation arises.

Through the process of leading by example, you help to create a company culture that’s crafted around your vision. If you’re radiating positivity, optimism and a strong work ethic, you’re inspiring your workforce to adopt those traits as part of the company’s culture.

Collaborate with Your Employees

As a leader, it’s your duty to nurture the growth of your employees and encourage their contribution to projects. Modern companies with agile business models benefit from a culture that’s built around collaboration.  

Akin to communicating successfully with your team, collaboration on ideas, concepts and projects helps solidify a bond of trust between members of your business. The feeling of being incorporated into decision-making and sharing insights allows your employees to sculpt the company culture and assimilate your vision.

With the wonders of the internet, it’s becoming easier to collaborate with your entire workforce. Tools such as Trello can make collaboration easy, at a low cost, to create a work environment that shares ideas, leaves helpful feedback and even aids in boosting sales.

Becoming a Great Leader

To develop as a strong leader, you’ll need to regularly evaluate your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Communication is vital when managing small business teams. It ensures that everyone is on the same page when completing projects and tasks. Furthermore, communication will increase productivity, improve workflow and help to develop bonds of trust within your company.

Fortunately, you won’t need to break the bank to build up your skill set. Management skills can be learned by business owners at an inexpensive cost. The only requirements are the willingness to learn new skills, deploy patience and to plan.  

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