In today’s fluctuating business world, where whole industries rise and fall over the course of the night, running a small business seems like much harder task than it ever was.
Staying in control of all important doings within a company looks like a good prerequisite for survival, but one person can only do so much. And here lies one of the most common problems of small business-owners. How to stay in control over your business without stretching yourselves too thin, and meddling into affairs which should, honestly, be someone else’s job? Here are few steps which will help you to strike this difficult balance.
Empower Your Employees to Make Important Decisions
Staying in control of your business sometimes means nothing else than reducing your input to minimum, and leaving most of the on-the-go decision to your employees. It goes without a saying, though, that in order for this method to succeed, you will have to make sure that your employees are capable and empowered enough to make such decisions. Be sure to give them “the keys to the Kingdom” and provide them with the basic guidelines on the potential impact of every proposed decision in order to make them more comfortable to take the initiative when it is due.
Get Help if You Need One
Even if you leave a considerable chunk of decision-making to employees, you may still feel that you cannot manage everything else on your own. This is the perfect time to seek help. Whether you will find it in the form of a personal assistant, capable middlemen staff, or an outsource vendor depends on your specific situation. Just be sure to establish fast, clear, and efficient two-way communication between you and whoever provides the assistance. This way, you will be able to keep a close eye on everything that is happening, and make fast corrections if you feel that something is going wrong.
Stay on the Top of the Game
We already mentioned that changes in the business landscape are tectonic, and sometimes happen overnight. If you want to maintain efficient control over your company, you will have to stay up-to-date with everything that is happening out there, and do your best to constantly improve your education and skills. In some other times that would demand your presence on very lengthy and complicated classes. Today, knowledge is easily accessible with a click of the mouse, and everything you will need to run a modern, and efficient small business can be found on thousands of educational websites, like upskilled.edu.au.
Work on Your Leadership Skills
Even if you remove yourself from the problems that are not yours to solve, there is still one huge area you will need to improve on, and this is developing your leadership skills. But, which are the ones you should acquire? First one is honesty. Your employees need to know what they stand with you at any given time. Furthermore, you should be confident, passionate about your job, sympathetic, and harsh only when necessary. Consistency and integrity are also desired. If you manage to turn yourself into an efficient leader, you will create more positive work climate and honest relationship with your staff. Therefore, you will reduce the need for your involvement in the first place.
Reach a Deeper Understanding of the Finances
Money is the blood running through your company’s veins. If you fail to keep control over it, you might as well shut the company’s door forever. So, in order to ensure that this does not happen, you will first have to reach an understanding of the upcoming expenses, and find a way how to cover them. Staying afloat should be your priority, even if that means having to skimp on some of the resources meant for growing your business. Secondly, you should take a very close look on your company’s spending habits. There may be deals that could use a redo or a renegotiation.
Increase In-House Productivity
If money is the equivalent of blood, productivity is the thing pumping it through your company. Therefore, improving the productivity of your employees should be of your primary concern. This is even more important when you consider the fact that this is the duty in which entrepreneurs fail most often. Giving the employees more freedom at the workplace may go against your instincts to keep everything as tight as possible, but sometimes, it is necessary. More freedom breeds improved mental health. Consider introducing flex hours. More freedom breeds improved mental health, or even telecommuting. You will be surprised how well some people can perform when they are devoid of limitations.
As we can see, the problem of retaining control over your small business sometimes can be solved simply by loosening the grip over it. There are, of course, some areas, like finances, that will demand your full attention, but even then, you should not try to be everywhere at once. Empowering your staff, and inspiring the same effort and diligence that is expected from you, is much better and infinitely more efficient way to go.
Nate M. Vickery is an entrepreneur and business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He likes to write and share his insights and experience online.