5 Leadership Development Strategies For A Profitable Small Business.
Being resourceful is not the only way to a successful business. In fact, for a business to prosper, even if it’s a small startup, effective leadership is one key foundation that can be the difference between the success or failure of any business.
Not everyone is a born leader but there are certain leadership skills you can acquire and use for laying a strong foundation for your small business to grow and maximise profits. These involve having a clear and well-defined vision, clearly sharing your vision with your team members, inspiring them to reach common goals, long-term planning, learning from your mistakes and encouraging your people to do the same, and rewarding your team when milestones are reached.
Ok, let’s get into it.
Have A Clear Vision
As a business leader, it should be your first and foremost priority to have a well-defined vision – a clear picture of where you want to head. Why are you in business? What do you want to achieve and by when?
When you have a definite goal, you have a clear target to focus your time and resources on, and you don’t get distracted by every shiny opportunity that comes knocking and looks good at the time, and there will be many!
All great and effective leaders stay focussed on the vision of the business, day in and day out no matter what’s playing out around them. This is critical to growing a successful business.
Do you have a clear vision for the business?
Do you stay focused on it?
Share Your Vision
Having a clear vision is not enough. The way you make it a shared vision of your organization is the real challenge and this needs strong leadership capabilities.
You can’t’ do anything great on your own so it’s really critical your people first know what the vision is and also, more importantly, know their role in achieving it and be excited by the prospect!
You need to spend one on one time with each of your key people, outlining the vision and their role in it, plus you need to present the vision to the team as a whole and instill in them your belief that you can achieve it together.
And once you’ve shared your vision, don’t stop bringing your people back to the vision – day after day – to energise, focus and excite them. Do it in meetings, at the end of emails, in general conversations, when making decisions, put it on the wall. I often will say to my people things along the lines of – “Imagine when we achieve X what our lives will be like?! We’ll be having staff meetings in Hawaii!” Get your people thinking big and what it will mean for them personally.
How have you shared your vision?
Is your team really clear on what is it?
Are they passionate about it?
A point note here too is that it’s also important to make sure that everyone in the company is informed when big decisions regarding the Vision are made, for example, when a new change or strategy is implemented, so you don’t risk alienating your people and they still feel part of the big picture.
Learn From Your Mistakes
It is impossible for a business to not make a mistake. Every great leader understands and acknowledges the fact that a mistake is an opportunity to do better next time. Failure equals success if you learn from it!
As part of your mentoring leadership skills, you need to motivate your people to rise above their mistakes and encourage them to face failures so they can make improvements in the future. This needs to be engrained in your culture. If your people are afraid of failing, you’ll have a team of people who won’t “push the envelope” and you risk missing out on a multitude of possibilities that could build a more successful business, plus it’s not conducive to building a winning team culture.
Do you allow your people to make mistakes without fear of failure?
Do you encourage them to take the learnings from mistakes?
Show Your Appreciation
Being an employer and a business leader, your appreciation and rewards can do wonders. When you show your appreciation for your team, they feel recognized for their efforts and are motivated to perform better – it builds their heart and spirit. In fact, according to research by Partners In Leadership, when you take the time to recognise the contributions of your team to the business, your direct reports feel happier at work, with 85% saying they take more initiative, 73% say they are better collaborators, and nearly half care more about their work. Pretty amazing stuff wouldn’t you say?!
And you can always reward your people via salaries and bonuses, or the implementation of schemes and reward systems, but find out what motivates your people the most. It might surprise you!
How do you show your appreciation to your people?
⚡️(I recently did a TedX talk on this topic – you can check it out here if you’d like)
Always Plan Ahead
As said by Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. An effective leader always takes the time to plan ahead. Make short and long-term goals and include your team members in setting these goals. For instance, share with them the net profit you want to achieve by the end of this year, and in the coming 5 years. Ask for their input as to how these goals can be achieved and define their roles in doing so to make everyone accountable. The more they feel included and the more they are accountable for achieving them, they’ll develop better strategies to boost your sales. It’s a win-win.
Have you set short and long-term goals with your people?
Do they feel part of the process?
How do you keep yourself and your team accountable to achieve them?
Leading a business is not an easy job. It needs effective leadership qualities as much as it needs capital. When you diligently work on and apply these effective leadership qualities, you’re laying strong foundations for a successful, profitable business.
I wish you every success in your business journey and I trust this blog has added value to it.
Become an effective leader who inspires a passion for the business while bringing out the best in your people.
Connect with Leadership Dynamics today