Question: I am a small business owner on Cape Cod. I have never had any management training. What tips do you have for me to manage my business better?
Answer: Here are ten tips that will help you focus your team to become more efficient, productive and profitable.
Share information – it’s all about communicating with your employees as much as you can. The more they know, the more they can stay focused on getting the job done.
Give feedback – not just once a year, but regularly. Set time aside when you can provide feedback to your employees as a group and one-on-one. Your employees want feedback. They want to know where they stand about your expectations.
Say thanks – employees want to be appreciated. Customers want to be thanked. A simple thank you note for a job well done or for purchase will go a long way in making a difference. And, it doesn’t cost anything to sit down and write a short note of thanks.
Delegate – don’t keep all the work for yourself. Share the load. You will be happier and more productive, and your team will see that they are contributing more to the organization’s results.
Set objectives – small one, but set them – create small goals and objectives that can be met. Employees want guides, and if they are tough, yet achievable, they will rise to the occasion.
Constantly adjust your management style – there is no one style that works for everyone since your employees are motivated differently. They communicate differently and have varying personalities. You have to adjust how you approach them.
Remove obstacles – Red tape and bureaucracy get in the way of productivity and workplace satisfaction. Remove as many as possible.
Have fun – set time aside when you and your team can have fun. A Friday afternoon cookout to celebrate a great week goes a long way to having happy employees.
Get involved – Tom Peters called it “managing by walking around.” Show that you can jump in and help in a pinch, put in the hours your employees are expected to. In an unusual situation volunteer to help when needed set a positive management tone for your employees to follow.
Stay focused and manage your time – time is your competitor, so you need to stay focused on the most important issues of the business. Cash management and sales are the two top issues that management needs to maintain focus to remain viable. It is easy to stray from the urgent issues of business because they aren’t necessarily easy to undertake. They may not be your favorite activity, but without them, failure is in your future.