By Keith Tully

Successfully managing a small business can be a challenging endeavor that requires a combination of certain skills and personality traits. Fortunately, such attributes can be gradually developed as you gain experience and learn to assert your will over the company affairs. If you’re currently trying to improve your proficiency as a small business owner, then consider these 7 tips from Real Business Rescue.

1. Monitor and Mentor Employees More Often. As the “captain of your team” your primary focus should be to motivate, educate, and supervise staff members on an ongoing basis. The more you put forth an effort to interact with employees and teach them what needs to be done to facilitate progress, the more likely it is that such progress will occur at a faster rate. Touch base with each employee on a daily and weekly basis to see what areas they need help in, and make it a practice to proactively promote the edification and advancement of your manpower.

2. Formulate and Implement Progressive Strategies. How can you expect to “win the game” without a solid game plan? Aimlessly wandering through day-to-day business operations without the guidance of a planned agenda is a surefire way to stumble upon financial hardships or stagnancy at the very least. To produce the best possible results you’ll need to bring your brainstorming power to the drawing board, think about what it is you’re trying to accomplish, and decide how it can be done in the most efficient and effective manner.

3. Hold Meetings and Heed Employee Recommendations. In many cases the employees are the life force of a small business, and since each worker brings a different element of expertise it only makes sense to bring together the best minds in your company for frequent meetings and discussions. Don’t hesitate to ask for honest opinions and be sure to genuinely consider every suggestion. Ignoring the input of your employees will only lead to lower morale and less resourceful decision making in the long-term.

 

4. Become Internet and Computer-Savvy. Nowadays every type of business can benefit from using software, networking online, establishing a web presence, and perhaps most importantly, using the internet to learn and conduct research. If you want to maximize your potential as a director you’ll need to be active on business directories and social sites such as LinkedIn, and of course you’ll need to be knowledgeable about how to operate accounting and budgeting software, which brings us to our next point… 

5. Practice Accounting and Budgeting Routinely. Get a program like QuickBooks and take the integrated course to learn how to use it. Even if you have an accountant already, with the assistance of an accounting software you can double-check to ensure that you’re not paying someone just to make mistakes. The use of such software will also greatly aid in the process of creating and adhering to predefined weekly, monthly, and/or quarterly budgets. Quicken is basically the budgeting version of QuickBooks, and the two work well together, so your first course of action in becoming more computer-savvy should be to become familiar with both of these programs (or comparable alternatives).

6. Work On Communication Skills. Being able to get your points across in a friendly and memorable fashion is perhaps the most important asset you can have as a director. Corresponding with employees and clients with confidence and in a well-spoken manner is the best way to keep your team productive and ensure high customer satisfaction and retention rates. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, check out these helpful tips.

Give Employees Incentives and Rewards. Research (and common sense) shows that people tend to work harder and put more passion into their efforts when they know that there will be a reward in addition to being commended and compensated with the usual pay. Give your employees realistic benchmarks and let them know that there will be bonuses/commissions given in the event that they’re able to complete their assigned duties by a certain date, or in a satisfactory way. If you’d like to learn more about the types of incentives that will really motivate your teammates, check out this in-depth guide to engaging employees with rewards and recognition.

 Real Business Rescue‘s Keith Tully has amassed more than a decade of experience in assisting the owners and managers of struggling businesses.  He has helped small business owners become better directors so that they can avoid the unnecessary hardships of overburdening debt and insolvency. @RealBizRescue.