Since 1990, big businesses have eliminated 4 million jobs, while small businesses added 8 million new jobs. Still, for small business owners, the line between success and failure is thin. Luckily, many small business owners are optimistic about the future. But while the overall health of small business is strong, and entrepreneurs are confident in the U.S. economy, good leadership skills are integral to owning and operating a small business. Here are helpful leadership tips to consider.
Have a vision and define your business culture. As a leader, defining your brand and staying true to your core values should be a fundamental part of your business strategy. Prioritizing quality is essential, and how you present that quality is equally important. But a brand is more than a logo. A brand is often described as a promise to your customers. It’s a place where culture, product or service, and reputation come together. While businesses, both small and large, must adapt to the changing times, long-term success is the result of maintaining a core set of values.
Listen to advice. When it comes to being a successful business leader, no man or woman is an island. Or to put a different spin on the same theme: it takes a village to raise a small business. Take time to seek out mentors, colleagues, and advisors and listen to what they have to say; you need to network because a good business can’t be built alone. While your own instincts are powerful, listening to the wisdom and advice of others could be an essential component for entrepreneurial success.
Focus on team building and unity. Employee recognition is important to success. Today, organizational loyalty isn't always an integral part of business culture. Business owners are continually looking for new ways to retain good employees, and good employees may be looking for a workplace where the grass is greener. Team building and workplace solidarity is an important part of small business. And one way to create solidarity is through recognition, since it can be a powerful motivator.
Get involved in the community. Meaningful community involvement is a good way to get your brand out there, network with other small businesses, and set yourself apart from the competition. Partnerships, competitions, cross-promotional community activities — these are the types of things that can spark public interest in your business.