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When you start up your own small business, you are often a one-man team working from home to get your idea off the ground. Your focus is on your business launch, keeping your customers happy and being mindful of your bottom line. However, as the time passes and your business takes root, somewhere along the line you could well find yourself in need of more hands on deck in order to keep on growing and developing. For most of us, this is an exciting next step, but it can also be daunting as you move from being a business owner to a leader responsible for other people. If you have had little or no experience running a team before, this can be a steep learning curve, which is where we come in today as we want to share a few suggestions and leadership tips for small business owners.
The first place to start with this is in building the right team around you. Do take your time over any recruitment processes and decisions. Think about exactly what you will need from your new employee, the job that you will want them to carry out and the skills and attributes that you would like them to have. You will then be able to put out a clear job advertisement and stick to that profile when you are interviewing and considering any applicants. Consider how both their experience and their personality will fit into your business.
When you do find the right person for your business, make the time to settle them in properly. During their first days, spend time with them showing them the ropes, making sure that they are comfortable and giving them training.
Training and coaching is not just for those first few days, it should be an ongoing process within your business.
Everyone, from new starters to more experienced team members, likes to know that they are carrying out their jobs effectively. They want to be confident in all that they need to tackle every day and they will gain job satisfaction from knowing that they are doing well. Training and coaching is a great way to reassure everyone that they are competent in their roles.
Whenever a new process or product comes in, set up some form of training for everyone so that they are all in the loop. Beyond that, look to observe your team carrying out their work and offer them guidance, constructive tips and heaps of praise in order to help them to do a better job and to feel motivated to do so.
Recommended Resource: 2020 BUSINESS OWNER MINDSET REPORT
You are going to be most of the way there by giving your team the training and knowledge that they need to carry out their jobs, but they then also need to have the right equipment and resources to hand.
A common gripe within workplaces is around frustrations with the equipment that staff have to work with. It can cause them to struggle to carry out their jobs and can slow down productivity. As such, it is worth investing in the best that you can afford and encouraging your team to let you know if any needs arise for different resources.
You might find that you need to look into new laptops, specialized printing machinery, cranes for sale or manufacturing equipment. Look for the need to do this yourself, but do also ask your team to come to you with any needs that they spot.
You might only have one employee, but if you have more than that do make a point of giving everyone some one on one time with you regularly.
This is a good way of building your relationship with them and it gives them an opportunity to express any concerns to you, ask for help or offer up any ideas that they have had to you.
You might choose to do this by holding weekly or monthly chats with everyone, or you might choose to work alongside people regularly giving you the chance to chat with them as well as gaining an insight into their work.
In order to lead your team effectively, they need to trust you and understand in which direction you are leading them. This one is simple to do, and yet is so often a missed step with business owners. It can be easy to fall into the trap of carrying everything on your own shoulders.
It helps to stay open and honest with your team and keep on communicating. This should be done in a positive and useful way, they do not need to hear all about your every woe with the bank manager this week.
Fill everyone in on your plans, the direction you are hoping to move in, the targets and sales that you want and need to achieve and get everyone involved in working towards this vision. You need to all be pulling in the same direction so it makes sense that everyone knows what that direction is. This also gives you the opportunity to celebrate with them every time a step or milestone is achieved.
Every day, thank your team. If you have had a bad day, find something, some ray of sunshine, to thank them for.
If you have followed all of the tips above, you will have invested a substantial amount of time in growing and developing your team. It is absolutely worth it, as long as your employee sticks around and works efficiently for you. From following these tips they should feel supported, but do all that you can to ensure that they feel valued.
If someone has done a good jb, make sure that they know that you have spotted it and thank them for it. If someone has had a tough day, thank them for trying hard all day for you. If someone has gone above and beyond their normal duties for you, thank them.
Thanking your team is not a difficult thing to do and it costs you nothing, yet it can be worth its weight in gold.
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