Running a successful business isn’t for the faint hearted. Whether you’re about to take the plunge and set up your first company, or you have a string of businesses already, success is determined by the profits you make. As a business manager, it’s crucial that you possess the right skills for the role, otherwise your dreams and ambitions may not get very far off the ground.
Managers in a business hold the key to guiding employers in the right direction. In a small business, many managers wear many hats to ensure day to day operations run smoothly and according to plan. To help you flourish in business, here are 10 skills every small business manager needs to succeed.
As a small business manager, you may not have the funds or resources to employ many others in your team, meaning it will be up to you to oversee the day to day operations, ensuring that employees are working at their best and using their strengths and experience effectively in the workplace. The best managers are able to multi-task and balance priorities without losing productivity.
As a manager, there are lots of decisions that may be left up to you which could be the make or break when it comes to keeping the business afloat. It’s important that you have the confidence to make decisions, regardless of what the outcome will be. Successful managers need to take risks, whether it benefits the company or not in the long run.
Any successful manager will know how to lead a team towards success. How you come across in the workplace can have a huge impact on moral and productivity, so rather than belittling employees, make sure that you use constructive criticism which can help your team grow and flourish. Respect goes both ways in the business world, so having an understanding and appreciation for what your employees do will help keep them on track and be more productive.
Going hand in hand with leadership, to be an effective manager, you need to know how to motivate your team. There can be obstacles and challenges along the way that can make employees lose steam and take their eye off the ball, so it’s up to you to notice any changes in your employees and help point them in the right direction. Make sure that you hold regular meetings on an individual basis where you can learn more about your team, meaning you can put the right actions in place to keep employees motivated.
Business Development Skills
Any good manager needs to know how to look for areas in a company that need improving. From the moment a business gets off the ground, there are all sorts of aspects within the company that need addressing throughout, such as the marketing side of things. Developing a company into a successful venture will take hard work and skill, so it’s important that you keep an eye on how things are doing, as one minor mistake could lead to disastrous consequences.
There needs to be open communication in the workplace. Whether it’s between you and your employees, clients, or customers, being open and honest with whoever you encounter is crucial. If you run an online business for example, customers may reach out to you via your website, blog, or social media pages, so knowing how to engage with your customers is crucial.
When working on a task or project, you may face all sorts of barriers throughout which could derail the task, therefore, it’s up to you as a business manager to know how to work through problems and get them nipped in the bud from the get-go. Identifying issues at the beginning will help decrease the chances of them causing a problem for your operation. Working under pressure can be highly stressful, so being able to work in tense environments can help you throughout your professional career.
It goes without saying, planning makes perfect. As a business manager, strategic planning is used to define your company’s direction or strategy, as well as making decisions on behalf of your employees. For clarification, you should have a well-detailed business plan laid out which can outline your goals and ambitions for the company. Having a three-to-five-year framework can help you monitor your company’s future performance.
Regardless of how many years of experience you have in the business sector, the bottom line is to ensure whoever uses your products and services are kept happy and satisfied. When dealing with customers and clients, you need to make sure that what you deliver is on time and on plan. When given a deadline, adhering to what’s being asked of you and understanding what time management is will help you work more effectively and know how to prioritise better.
Sales and Marketing
If your business isn’t prominently displayed on the internet or in person, you can’t expect consumers to come flying through the door. How you market your brand can be the make or break of how successful your company is, so knowing what types of marketing strategies to use is essential. From pricing to advertising, analysing your competitors will help when it comes to growing your business. Once you’ve established the right target audience, you will need to come up with compelling messages that will catch their interest and make them use your products and services. Perseverance is key in marketing, so it’s important that you take an interest into what your customers say about your brand, helping you to come up with new strategies on how best to deliver your products.
Gaining New Skills
Understandably, you may now realise that there are a few key skills you would either like to develop or brush up on. You could consider studying for an MSc in Business and Management online so that you can fit it in alongside your current career. This will also bring the added benefit of opening up other doors for you should you wish to make a change. For inspiration, check out this blog from Aston University on ideas of jobs in business management.
For your business venture to gain traction, it’s important that you have the right skills, knowledge, and expertise in place first. Clients, suppliers, and customers want to make sure they’re getting good value for money, so delivering excellent customer service and catering to their needs is crucial, making it more important than ever to possess all the key skills listed to make your business a success.