Whether you’re a new business or have been established for 20 years, for entrepreneurs, leading and managing a small business can bring forth numerous challenges. Despite your background and expertise, nothing can truly prepare you for becoming a business leader. Without a doubt, there will be plenty of trial and error and on-the-job training as you work to grow your company.
Although no two businesses are alike, successful leadership lessons translate from industry to industry. That’s why it is beneficial to learn the practices adopted by successful leaders who have been known to deliver results. Here are 5 leadership lessons from small business owners like Kris Thorkelson, Larry Elkin and others.
#1 Build a talented team
When launching a business, it is nearly impossible to do it all alone. Realize, people are your greatest resource: clients and customers as well as employees. Find ways to cultivate a team of talented people around you and then strengthen the level of trust you have with everyone involved.
“We all say we want team players, but many leaders forget to act as part of the team. It is not only important that your workers trust each other: It is vital that they trust you as their leader.”
As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you may feel like the weight of your company’s success falls entirely on you. Whether you are a perfectionist or you believe that no one can complete tasks and reach goals better than you, you are wrong in thinking you don’t need help.
“Most people will tell you they are too busy to delegate that it’s more efficient for them to just do it themselves,” explains Carol Walker, president of business Prepared to Lead.
Giving up being the ‘ go-to expert’ takes confidence, and likewise, it’s important that you pass work on to people who have the necessary skills and are motivated to get the job done.
#3 Make community a focus
Small business owners know are an essential component of the communities in which they live and work. Thus, they should be aware of how their decisions may impact their neighbors. Additionally, local business entrepreneurs tend to get involved in the community.
When launching his business My Place Realty, Winnipeg’s Kris Thorkelson and his team set out with a vision to not only provide quality multi-family houses and apartments to residents, but also to integrate the business within the community and find ways that it could support and sustain it.
“We thought it was important to form partnerships within the community to better serve our tenants, so we have partnered with several electrical, plumbing and heating companies who are always ready to help out when we need them. When running an organization, investing time in your community is one of the most important things you can do to build trust and a strong community network,” says Kris Throkelson.
#4 Take a hands on approach
Cultivating a company culture and a positive working environment should never take a back seat to increasing your revenue. A good leader knows takes a hands on approach – they know how to energize their team and sets the tone and attitude of everyone that works for them.
#5 Share your success
There is no greater feeling than witnessing your business expand in the right direction. You know it couldn’t have become successful without the assistance of many helping hands along the way.
Regardless of what product or service your small business sells, a good leader must communicate their vision and goals to their employees and customers. Having a clear sense of objectives is important, and so is making sure that your business is based on a solid foundation.