Starting out on your own is never easy. When you started your own small business, you probably know all too well the challenges that small businesses face. Managing one can be hard, especially when you’re the one calling all the shots. Being your own boss has its advantages but any first-time manager would be right to feel nervous or even scared if they don’t know where to start.
But have no fear. Here are some tips on how to not only be a manager but be the best manager you can be for your own small business:
Do your research
If you’ve found your way to this article, then you probably don’t need to be told twice. Doing your research on something that you’ve never tried before is essential, especially if it’s for something as important as a job. Nobody wants to show up to work clueless and unprepared. Employees don’t want to have to deal with managers or bosses who have no idea what they’re doing, and they’re also less likely to listen to you.
It’s not a good look for you or your company if you don’t do your research on even the most basic principles and rules of your job. But chances are, if you’ve been in the business for a while now, you already know your way around. Still, doing more research than what’s required never hurts.
Other than online sources, you can try signing up for corporate leadership coaching and other training programs. Research isn’t limited to just reading. Some hands-on experience could really benefit you in the long run and educate you on just what this job entails. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to look it up or ask questions. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
Find a management style
The number varies from source to source, but most can agree that there are 7 management styles that are common in the workplace. Find one that not only suits you but also works well with your employees, your workplace, and your type of business. You might prefer to be a Laissez-Faire kind of manager, but your employees might need a more Authoritarian voice to tell them what to do. Finding a management style that works can be tedious or might need a lot of trial and error, but one way to find out for yourself is by observing what your employees respond well to.
Every employee is different. Some might like a Pacesetting management style, while others may respond more positively towards a Transactional style. You might even want to try a combination of two or more styles. Whatever the case, always consider the needs of your employees, your own skills and personality, and what’s the best fit for your business.
Communicate with and listen to your employees
As a leader, it’s your job to respond appropriately and promptly to your employees’ inquiries and concerns. Good leaders are never self-serving — they strive to fulfill the needs of both the company and its employees. When your employees are happy or satisfied with their work-life, they can become more productive, have faster turnover rates, and turn in higher quality work.
Listen to what your employees say and improve on areas that they think could be better. Effective communication goes a long way in ensuring that your employees stick around and have positive experiences with you and your company.
Be a good example
Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean that you get to do whatever you want. If you want your employees to be productive, punctual, and professional, then you need to lead by example. It doesn’t reflect kindly on your character if you complain about your employees being late or lazy when you’re guilty of doing the exact same things. Stay humble and don’t let the power and authority of being the manager get to you. Don’t be a hypocrite — be better.
Know when to delegate
Are you the kind of person who prefers doing things on their own, because you think that you do it better alone than if you do it with others? That sort of thinking just isn’t good in a collaborative work environment. While it may be easy for you to think that you’re more qualified to do a task than any of your employees, knowing when to delegate some of your tasks is essential to being a good leader.
You need to understand your own limits and set your own boundaries. You don’t have to shove all of your work onto someone else’s shoulders, but delegating certain tasks to others not only shows employees that you trust them with important things but also gives you time to yourself and shows that you know where to draw the line. Knowing when to stop or quit is in itself a valuable skill.