Being a small business manager is no easy task. While it comes with a lot of power, it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Being a manager at a small business is a unique experience, because managers at smaller companies tend to wear many hats. Therefore, they require a unique set of skills. Whether you are new to management or simply looking to hone your current skills, mastering the following skills will help ensure your success – and that of your team.
- They make time for their employees. It’s well known that employees don’t leave jobs; they leave managers. Good managers set aside time for their employees — whether that’s in the form of regular one-on-one meetings or establishing an “open door” policy — so they can address any questions, concerns or challenges that may arise. They also make time to recognize their employees for their hard work and celebrate their achievements. Regular recognition boosts morale and instills a sense of loyalty in employees.
- They know how to relinquish control. As a manager, you are held accountable for the performance of the people you manage. As a result, you may feel the need to be in control of everything your employees do. This type of micro-management, however, can kill morale. When you relinquish control and let your employees be more autonomous, you show them that you trust them, which fosters confidence, loyalty and leadership development.
- They can think on their feet. Small business managers often have to act at lightening speed when it comes to making decisions; therefore, the ability to think on one’s feet and quickly evaluate a situation and decide is crucial. If you sit on something for too long or keep changing your mind, you could end up losing out on lots of opportunities.
- They know how to communicate (well). Communication is an essential business skill for small business managers, but with their packed schedules, it can be hard to stay on top of getting messages out about news and updates that affect employees’ day-to-day lives. Make a concerted effort to keep employees up-to-date on key business decisions and organizational news. Regular, thoughtful communication empowers your employees with the information needed to do their jobs better. Remember, too, that communication isn’t just about talking; it’s about listening, too. Solicit regular feedback from your employees and other managers to identify any challenges or concerns and address them immediately.
- They learn from their mistakes. Even managers make mistakes. It’s what happens next that truly differentiates the good managers from the bad ones. Good managers know that admitting to a mistake is not a sign of weakness, but a show of maturity. Good managers own their mistakes, learn from them and pass what they’ve learned on to their employees. Not only will your employees be better for it, they will admire you for the way you handled it.
What habits do you find essential to a successful small business management? Tweet me at @cbpetej
Want more advice and resources for building your small business? Learn about the essential elements of a standout recruitment strategy. You can also sign up to get the Small Business Recruitment-in-a-Box toolkit, compliments of CareerBuilder.