Tag Archives: productivity

Vital leadership skills every small business owner needs

Being a small business owner means that, other than entrepreneurial spirit, you will need to have leadership skills to succeed. You will need to be able to lead your team with ease and have an understanding of all aspects of your business, including financial accounting and marketing. If you are not sure what, exactly, being a leader entails, below are just some of the vital leadership skills you will need as a small business owner.

Organisation

Arguably one of the most important leadership skills you will need is organisational skills, and this pertains to every aspect of your business. Keeping your workspace neat and tidy will help to calm your mind, and keeping your business data in order will help to make your work more streamlined.

Keeping everything organised will help you to quickly access information and make quicker business decisions. You will need to be able to organise your contact information, tasks, sales information, and all the other moving pieces involved in bringing in new business, as well as understand your financial situation. This can be done by taking a diploma in financial accounting. An organised business is one that performs well and provides customers with outstanding service and experience.

Effective communication skills

Being able to communicate with your employees and your customers is essential to the smooth running of any small business. Communication is equal parts talking and listening, with listening being vital for meeting with employees and clients.

As a business owner, you can build your success by being able to communicate your goals clearly to your team so that they are able to implement them. Listening to the opinions of the people on your team will also enable you to become a better boss, and it can improve your business operations. Without the ability to communicate your value to potential clients, you are unable

Confidence

Confidence is more of a personal attribute than a skill, but it is important nonetheless. Without confidence, you are unable to inspire trust and respect in your employees and customers. Leaders need confidence in order to make decisions and stick to them.

Self-confidence is important for small business owners as you will need to convince clients to use your skills and buy your products. If you are not confident in your business and in yourself, this will shine through in your business and will increase your profits. Confidence is an attribute that is inherent in entrepreneurs and can be built on with courses and conferences.

Strategic thinking

Thinking strategically is important to  the success of any business. This means that not only do you have a vision for your business but the ability and drive to move forward with this vision. You are able to think on your feet and use all the information available to come up with a plan of action to reach your goals.

Strategic thinking is a leadership skill that can be applied to your entire business, such as marketing and finances. Strategic marketing means that you will look at what is trending in the media and use this to your advantage in your campaign. Using strategic thinking financially could mean that you take financial accounting courses in order to better understand your bookkeeping process.

Emotional intelligence

Being emotionally intelligent means that you are able to understand and control your emotions. It will help you to understand yourself and those around you, namely your employees and your clients. It also means that you are able to act diplomatically rather than simply following a whim or an emotional reaction.

Having empathy is a part of having emotional intelligence, and empathy is what drives a small business that wants to connect with customers and give them the best customer experience possible. You should be able to effectively demonstrate emotional intelligence and use it to form connections with your employees and clients. Emotional intelligence also means that you are better able to make smart business decisions with your head rather than your heart.

The ability to adapt

Having the ability to adapt to difficult situations is vital for any small business owner. Change in the economic environment is constant, and being unable to adapt to these changes is highly detrimental to your business success. The ability to adapt also means you need to have the ability to embrace change, too.

Leaders are also able to implement changes easily and efficiently in their business. You should be able to do this without disturbing the organisation’s balances and should provide your staff with help as they strive to adapt to these changes too. Adaptability is highly important in this digital world we live in, especially for small business owners.

5 reasons why team building is important

In a world where attention is focussed on making the client happy, businesses often forget about their most valued asset – their employees. Team building and specially planned activities not only boost morale of employees but also increase the success of a business.

Here are a few reasons why team building is important in the workplace.

Motivates employees

Team leadership and team building go hand in hand. The more comfortable your employees are to express their ideas and opinions, the more confident they’ll become. This’ll motivate them to take on new challenges.

Facilitates better communication

Activities that create discussion enable open conversations among employees and between employees and management. You might even send your employees on a communication course to assist with developing this skillset. Communication is a topic that people assume they know a great deal about, particularly because they interact with many individuals on a daily basis via multiple channels – face-to-face conversations, phone, and email, for example. Yet there is much more to the discipline of communication than many realise. This can improve office relationships and in turn, the quality of work done.

Promotes creativity

Taking a team outside of an office setting and exposing them to new experiences will force them to think outside of their normal routine. Working together with other team members can ignite creativity and fresh ideas, which are great qualities to bring back to the office.

Develops problem-solving skills

In public relations, a crisis can happen at any time. Team building activities that require coworkers to work together to solve problems can improve their ability to think rationally and strategically. Teams that are able to determine when a problem arises and know what they can do about it can then effectively take charge when a real crisis occurs.

Breaks the barrier

Team building increases the trust factor with your employees. Often in corporate settings there’s a disconnect between the management team and employees because the employees sense too large of a gap between the two. Team building exercises gives management the opportunity to be seen as a colleague rather than a boss, which can do wonders for employee morale.

Overall, team building enables better communication, better relationships, and ultimately increases productivity.

 

3 strategies to improve productivity

Being productive is essential to any business. We want delivery of our products or services to be a faster process. Yet that is more easily said than done. Every business wants this and, if it was so easy, all would’ve achieved maximum efficiency. To that end, we should begin questioning just where we can improve and focus our productivity.

Use technology

Despite our reliance on technology in every facet of our lives, many business leaders still remain sceptical of going “too far”. We don’t want to face a situation where, for example, all our data is dependent on one computer, database and so on.Yet this is not a problem with technology, so much as management.

We should be using all available tools and systems, examining which works for us.

Some are free or low-cost, helping with a range of issues. As the BDC highlights, online project management tools can be very useful, for example. These allow businesses to “host their own workspaces to manage certain projects and foster improved collaboration among employees. Typically, users need to download and install a program, or simply log in online, to create tasks, participate in discussions or edit, store and share documents. These applications usually include activity streams allowing users to easily find out who changed what and when and share feedback.”

It fosters collaboration and allows for transparency. This reduces tasks’ time, as we don’t need to rush and wait to find out what others have done or will be doing. We can see precisely where our input is needed and what our job is.

Of course all this is simply a matter of proper business process management, which itself can be aided by personalised systems. Businesses should seek out companies to aid them in creating such systems. All this will significantly reduce task times, add transparency and provide necessary tools to help ground employees in their duties.

Review and reassess

We won’t get far if we don’t know what we’re doing wrong. This is why it’s important to take time out to review our processes. This can be from entire systems of workflow to individuals.

Review processes aren’t merely to assert dominance over employees. Instead, as experts advise, we should use this as an opportunity to touch base, find out how to improve. One professor from Harvard Business School tells Inc.com that an employer and employee should use the opportunity reviews provide to problem solve. In this way, the review becomes “more of a dialogue about what an employee can do to improve and what an employer can do to help.”

Look outward

We must use our competitors as springboards, not obstacles, to our success. We must find out where they saw a vision and we did not. It might be helpful to get outside help and scrutiny, so that an objective assessment can provide a full and proper analysis. Removing any emotional attachment we might have means we can make objectively better decisions in the future.

(Image source: Sean MacEntee / Flickr)