Marketing With Heart Tip:
A successful, sustainable business that feels good to work in requires clear direction, good management, solid systems for administration, good marketing and great service regardless of its size or industry.
As a business owner your job is to ensure all these happen.
As an employer, you want to create a culture of happy empowered employees who are interested in the success of your business. This interest depends on solid management and clear leadership.
Management and leadership are actually two distinct skill sets. Spending the time to understand each of these roles will help you to achieve your business outcomes and create the foundations for future growth regardless of the size of your business.
Firstly – leadership.
As the leader you are responsible for innovation, you need to have a clear picture of the vision, mission and goals for your business. Writing (or drawing) it out will help you to clarify what you do and don’t know.
It is important to fill in these gaps but, even more importantly, you need to find out what you don’t know you don’t know! It is nearly impossible to figure this out on your own so find someone you trust to ask you the hard questions.
As a leader don’t get bogged down in figuring out how to make things happen, your job is to get clear and then just sell the ticket. To your staff and to yourself! Once you have done this (and communicated it clearly) all decision making can stay in alignment with your vision, goals and mission.
The manager is responsible for taking the vision and making it happen. A manager’s job is to ensure that what must be done today is done in a timely, effective and profitable way.
If you employ staff to manage then you must decide what your managers level of accountability is. As a small business owner it is common to have difficulty letting go of control. Regardless of whether you are a leader or a manger by nature, if you have managing staff you must ensure they have the level of responsibility they need and are empowered to make the decisions required to bring your vision into reality. It is also important to decide what reporting you need, for accountability, peace of mind and to supply the information you need to continue to lead the way.
Management accountability could include (but is not limited to): financial management, marketing, administration, human resources / staff management, etc. Clarify what are the decisions that need to be made in each area and who holds that responsibility.
Financial concerns: To effectively manage you need to know what turnover, gross and net profit is required to achieve the vision. You will need a cash flow budget, contingency plans and actual progress to date. Get clear about who is responsible for what? Sales targets? Turnover? Expenditure?
Marketing: Every business markets itself, even if it is just by word of mouth. Whatever your strategies are in this area you need to be clear about how it will help you to achieve your vision. You will also need to consider how much time, money and energy you need to devote to this to ensure your success and what outside support you need. Who makes what $value decisions and who has final say will be some of the considerations.
Administration: Your administration department is best run with very clear systems in place for data management, record keeping, customer service, etc. It is the manager’s job to make sure these are working efficiently. If you have staff in these areas they may be able to suggest better ways of doing things.
Staff Management or Human Resources: How can you keep your staff happy and motivated? Communication is essential here. Often little things, like more autonomy and more thanks go a long way. Ownership of outcome is often a great incentive so consider tangible targets and reward systems.
If you are a sole trader then once your vision is clear metaphorically remove the leadership hat and put on your managers hat to determine the steps that need to happen to get you to where you want to go. By keeping each function separate the manager within won’t limit the leader with the how do I do that questions. The manager can take over later to figure that out.
To be honest, many businesses don’t bother to do this. Some people enjoy the chaos of not knowing what is happening next and prioritising by emergency. But if you are looking for a more peaceful way of operating that allows the space for growth then working from the big picture down means that you can keep stepping forward with confidence, open to innovation and new opportunities.
To find out more about this tip email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
copyright 2014 Gay Landeta Create the Life you Want to Live!