How To Be A Great Boss In A Small Business

If you’re running your own company, chances are, you spend a lot of time wondering how exactly to be a better boss. There are a lot of tips out there but the truth is that a lot of it is written in vague management speak, without giving you many tips about how to be a great boss in practice. Here are a few things that anyone can do to make sure they succeed as the leader of their company.

With Your Business

First and foremost, you need to work on keeping costs down. If you’re renting and furnishing an office, remember that it just has to be near a transport hub – it doesn’t need to be smack bang in the middle of an expensive city. Your furnishings can be lightly used, which means that you won’t have to spend a huge amount of cash on brand new things. There are easy ways to keep costs down.

Secondly, you need to learn how to delegate. Everyone needs to be aware that no matter how intelligent and capable they are, they can’t do absolutely everything all by themselves – not even you. Everyone has a certain skill set, and no one is perfect at every single thing that they try to do. If you think of yourself as a creative person, like if you’ve started a design company, then you might not be particularly good at the facts and figures behind your company. If you’ve created a product, it might not be your idea of a good time to think of the packaging you should use for it – if so, have a look online at sites like to work out what exactly you can do and who you can work with. Likewise, if you love product development but you’d rather stab yourself in the eye with your ruler than work out how to do marketing, make sure that you delegate these tasks to people who are really good at them and who are trained to do so.

Third, make sure there’s a place in the market for you and your business. You might think that it’s the best idea ever, but not everyone will feel that way – so it’s important to make sure that you do plenty of market research before your product is released. Not every product will be totally ideal for every consumer, so figure out who your target audience is – if you’ve developed a dating app for the over-fifties, make sure that you get people of that age group to test it, for example.

With Your Clients And Customers

First of all, be reliable. If you tell a customer that you’re going to call them back after a certain amount of time, make sure that you actually do it. The best and most important thing that a small business can do is provide excellent customer service – that’s the number one advantage that you have over larger businesses, which means that you should really make the most of it and continue to improve your customer service skills. Make sure that you’re easy to contact – on your site you should make sure that all your information is easy to access, including your phone number, your email address and your postal address, so that clients have a variety of options when they’re looking to get in contact with you.

Second, you should learn how to network. If you’ve never done it before, networking can be a little tricky – it can feel false. What’s the point in approaching someone and pretending to befriend them if all you’re really hoping to do is make a business connection? Remember that it isn’t false, because you aren’t doing it under false pretenses. The people that you’re talking to are also trying to network, which means that you’re benefiting each other. Business doesn’t have to be about making friends – it can also be about making mutually beneficial acquaintances and figuring out how you can put your separate skills together. When you’re talking to someone at a networking event, make sure that your body language is open and that you listen carefully to what they’re saying so that you can have a great conversation.

Finally, spend time with the clients you already have. It can be very tempting to focus solely on chasing after new clients and customers but you also need to make sure that you maintain the client relationships that you already have – you want them to last as long as possible, after all, which means that you need to stay on good terms with them for as long as you can and provide a service that’s of a really high caliber. Having said that, you should also maintain your hunger for more success – keep finding new clients and new people to pitch to so that you can keep growing and expanding your business.

With Your Employees

First you need to work on how to be approachable. You want to make sure that if the people who work for you have an issue, they feel that they can come to you and that you can figure it out together and help them out. You need to ensure that they don’t feel alienated from you – make sure that you listen carefully to what they’re saying and that you treat them all with respect. Even if you’re higher than them on the office hierarchy, it’s important to remember that they probably have some great points that can help to improve the running of your company if you listen carefully to them.

Secondly, make sure you can help your employees develop their skills. Any good, ambitious employees will want to advance as much as they possibly can, and even though there might not be a lot of places for them to be promoted to in a small company, you can help them form their job roles to fit their skills and what they’re interested in, along with sending them on workshops and to courses so that they can further enhance the skills that they already have and also start to learn new ones

Thirdly, don’t try to be their friend. As a boss it can feel very tempting to attempt to befriend your employees – they have a sort of camaraderie that you might envy and wish to be part of. But the truth is that you need to make sure that there’s some distance between you and them – you can socialize on company nights out and make sure that you all get along well, but in order to maintain your impartiality and the respect that they have for you, it’s important to remember that your friends and social life should be separate from your job.


With Yourself

Most importantly, make sure you don’t burn out. As the boss, it can be easy to work every hour under the sun, but you need to make sure that you take time out to see your friends, to go to the gym, to learn how to cook your favorite meals. It can be tempting to stay in the office extremely late every evening, and admittedly those evenings will definitely occur – but you also need to make sure that you give yourself time to breathe and a little space away from work. Remember that you’re more than your business, and focus on your mental, physical and emotional health. If you don’t already see a therapist, consider going to speak to someone about the ways that you handle stressful situations so that you keep reacting to things in a productive and positive way.

Secondly, keep developing your skills. Once you’ve achieved a little success, it can be very tempting to sit back and relax and get complacent, but you need to remember that you need to work consistently – don’t burn out (as we’ve already said) but equally, you need to put time and effort into your company to get as much out of it as you possibly can. Make sure that you keep signing yourself up for workshops and classes so that you can develop your skills, learn more, and meet different people who look at the world in a different way and as such can teach you a lot.

Finally, stay curious. The world around you is probably where you get the vast majority of your good ideas – in fact, it’s probably where you got the idea for your business in the first place. A successful business doesn’t just rely on one idea – it means that you need to have idea after idea, whether it’s about how to market yourself or new products that you should bring out. It can be intimidating when you’re thinking about where exactly you should get your ideas from but the truth is that they’re really all around you – in newspaper articles online, in other people’s products, in the novel that you’re halfway through at the moment. Maintaining your interest in the world around you is the best possible way to have as many excellent ideas as possible.

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