7 Tips For Leading A Small Business To Success

leading a small business to success

7 Tips For Leading A Small Business To Success

[Updated 23rd of January, 2023]

Running a small business is a challenging task. Making the big decisions, knowing when to expand and how to expand can be difficult. 

Here are 7 tips for leading a small business to success.

Growth and what it means  

Is your small business beginning to grow? Maybe you’re gaining new staff or expanding to a new location. When you begin adding more and more people to your business operations, it becomes essential that you are able to effectively lead and manage those staff. Because after all, if you look after your staff, your staff will look after your customers and that is EXACTLY what we want as small business owners. 

Why are your staff so important to the success of your business?  

The reality is a business is only as good as it’s people. Your staff play a major role in the success of your business.  

They are the face of your brand  

Your staff are your brand ambassadors. They represent the brand, and the general public will associate your brand with your staff. They need to be friendly, espousing the values of the brand and providing a customer service experience that meets with the expectations of the company.  

Employee Turnover is costly  

Employee turnover can be expensive, that’s why it’s so important to find the right people. You need to invest in good staff and keep them happy and engaged because the average cost of recruiting, rehiring and retraining for a staff member is roughly 30% of that employee’s salary.  

High employee turnover isn’t just going to cost you financially, it’s terrible for staff morale. Employees may be untrusting and suspicious of a company where staff are constantly leaving and starting. It can also present a disorganised and untrustworthy image to your clients and customers.  

What can you do to keep staff happy and led the way to success? 

There are so many strategies that you can employ to try and keep your staff engaged and productive. Let’s look at some proactive ways to invest in your staff and the success of your business below.  

Engage your staff 

There is nothing worse for employees than not knowing what is going on in the business and having no understanding of the goals that the business is trying to achieve. A successful leader will keep their staff informed of the goals for the business and implement tactics to achieve them, with the help of their dedicated team! 

Speak to your team regularly about your goals for the business and this will give them the same sense of ownership over the goals as you. 

Give them Autonomy  

While everyone needs some support and additional help with work tasks occasionally, no-one likes to be micromanaged.

Giving your staff autonomy over their workload empowers them to take charge and ownership over the KPIs and goals they are trying to accomplish in their role. 

Encourage feedback  

Keeping an open dialogue with your staff is so important to encouraging a healthy, thriving work culture. Have regular opportunities for employees to provide anonymous feedback. This will give them the chance to offer an honest opinion without facing consequences.  

Get employees and managers together regularly to discuss goals and the workplace culture. Maintaining an open dialogue between employees and managers helps to create a workplace culture where staff feel comfortable bringing up important issues.  

Be SMART with goal setting  

In order to bring employees into the goal setting process and help them to take ownership and feel part of the success of the business, you should help them to break their goals into smaller pieces to make it easier to accomplish.  

Use the SMART approach, make the goals: 

  • Specific 
  • Measurable 
  • Achievable 
  • Realistic  
  • Timeline  

This helps to break the larger projects into smaller, measurable checkpoints that will ultimately add up to whole project.  

Encourage professional development 

As a leader and small business owner, you are learning every day. When we stop learning, we give up our ability to continue to improve both ourselves and our businesses. Both business law and marketing practices change at a fast pace, and it is important to keep on top of the changes, to lead your business into the future. 

But you don’t have to do it all by yourself! Encourage your staff to get on board with professional development opportunities and share the information overload. 

Understand your people are people 

A great leader in small business understands that their staff are people too. People have problems and family commitments and all types of things that affect their working life – even if they try not to let them.

Be fair and flexible with your staff when you can. This will build a great rapport and working relationship between you and your staff and will make it easier for you to run your business – solely because your staff trust you and feel they can be honest with you. 

Lead by example  

If you want your staff to showcase an excellent work ethic, you’ll need to lead by example. And this extends to developing a healthy work culture and maintaining a good employee morale. You need to lead from the top down, championing workplace culture, professional development and the company’s ethics.  

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to preparing your small business for success, you can’t overlook the importance of the people who work for you.

Employees can make or break your business. They are the face of your brand out there in the public and replacing employees is a costly exercise.

Keep employee turnover down and employee engagement up with these tips. Invest in your people, give them autonomy over their role, get their feedback and encourage professional development.  

If you’re thinking about professional development for you or your staff, contact us to discuss your options. If you are a small business owner or employee, check out the Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business as the qualification to help you get started.

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