To say that small business owners face many challenges would be an understatement. Between managing staff, meeting with clients and recruiting top talent, many small business proprietors consistently run themselves ragged. While there’s no magic wand solution for all the challenges associated with small business ownership, there are a number of easy steps you can take towards more effective and efficient management. So, if small business management still represents uncharted territory for you, the following tips are likely to come in handy.
Make Yourself Accessible to Employees
Making yourself accessible to your employees is always a good idea. For one thing, this ensures that any questions or concerns they may have can be promptly addressed. Accessibility also helps reduce the risk of miscommunications and misunderstandings, which can prove disastrous to certain projects. When people are afraid to ask their bosses for clarification on certain issues, improperly-completed projects are often the end result.
So, in addition to making yourself accessible to employees, you should actively encourage them to get in touch with you whenever they find themselves in need of assistance and/or clarification. Many people are hesitant to reach out to their bosses, as they believe this makes them appear unprofessional or incapable of doing their jobs without a certain level of “hand-holding.” As the boss, it’s in your best interest to disabuse your employees of this notion and emphasize that there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
Work with Dependable Managers
Taking point on every conceivable aspect of small business management can have a number of downsides. To start with, it’s liable to leave you in a constant state of physical and mental exhaustion, which is bad for both your overall health and the success of your business. So, instead of stretching yourself too thin, enlist the aid of dependable managers.
Managers will take point on the day-to-day aspects of business ownership that you don’t have the personal bandwidth to attend to. A manager’s exact duties vary from business to business, but in many cases, they entail monitoring progress on projects, resolving employee disputes and playing a key role in customer relations. Some managers can even take responsibility for keeping business licenses up to date and obtaining necessary work permits. Good government software systems can also prove helpful in this endeavor.
Provide Employees with Schedule Flexibility
If there’s one thing modern workers appreciate, it’s schedule flexibility. While some employees may require a fair amount of structure and micromanagement to complete their respective tasks on time, many members of the workforce do not. So, provided your employees have proven themselves capable of producing satisfactory work and meeting deadlines, you have very little to lose by providing them with an enhanced degree of control over their own schedules.
Unsurprisingly, the traditional eight-hour workday doesn’t work for everyone. In addition to dealing with stressful commutes and office politics, people often find themselves forced to remain at work long after their tasks for the day have been completed. This represents a needless level of control over your employees, and it’s not hard to see why many workers resent it.
On the flipside, allowing employees to work at their own pace and set their own office hours – provided, of course, deadlines are consistently met – can be a boon to your business. It will help ensure that employees are better-rested and less stressed, leaving them primed to deliver their best work.
Offer Remote Work Options
Allowing employees to work remotely is arguably the ultimate form of schedule flexibility. This will effectively save them the trouble of commuting and the stress of being micromanaged and help them cultivate a healthy work/life balance. As an added bonus, embracing remote work can do wonders for your worker retention efforts.
Instead of viewing small business ownership as one enormous job, it’s to look at it as a series of smaller jobs. Overseeing employees, meeting with clients and recruiting new staff are just a few of the vitally important duties many small business owners attend to on a daily basis. With so much on your plate, effectively managing your first small business is liable to seem like an uphill battle. While it’s true that you’ll still face your fair share of challenges, the pointers outlined above stand to make your job considerably less stressful.