When knowledgeable professionals decide to start a business venture, they’re sometimes unaware of all the challenges they’ll be facing. In simple terms, business management differs from sheer employment. In more complex terms, running a business can be completely different from being an employee in a company.
Therefore, everybody who is planning to take the road of entrepreneurship should tweak both their soft and hard skills. In this article, you can find out more about some general soft skills that every new business owner should possess or develop.
1.Consistency without double standards
Managing a company includes dealing with employees, clients, and projects. As a business owner, you need to show consistency and patience as much as possible.
For starters, it’s vital to establish a bonus structure for your employees. If the rewards you give to your employees are based on your subjective evaluations, it will affect the climate among your staff members. Some employees are extroverts or more talkative and they tend to brag about their results. But there are also shy or more reserved but hard-working people who don’t talk about their achievements.
Since business owners have a lot on their plates, so it’s not easy to make objective conclusions if you don’t possess the right facts.
Therefore, your internal rulebook on bonuses and rewards will help you share profits with your employees in an honest and transparent way. Also, make sure that all your workers get familiar with those rules and requirements.
Polite and clear communication is one of the pillars of adequate business management.
In theory, we all know that we need to be respectful and informative when we talk or write to our employees/clients.
However, in practice, there are many different variables that may affect such communication.
As business owners, we need to anticipate those moments and do everything we can to prevent any inconvenient or inappropriate communication.
For starters, effective workplace communication requires peace and calm. If you’re trying to hold a business meeting or briefing while other employees are having a coffee or discussing other business things, you’ll keep losing focus. This can lead to frustration and negative reactions that you’ll later regret. Also, some information might slip under the radar if the communication channel is not clear.
That’s why every SMB needs a separate space for business meetings. Be it a special conference room or an improvised, closed balcony, this dedicated space is a must.
As for online communication for remote teams, it’s important that all the participants in the meeting are given a chance to speak. More often than not, online business meetings unfold in the way that business owners and/or team leaders speak most of the meeting. This might be effective for some meetings, but you should moderate most meetings so that each employee taking part in it has an opportunity to ask or answer some questions. This is both a polite and efficient manner of online business communication.
Last, but not least: avoid making jokes based on gender, race, ethnicity, medical issues, and similar politically incorrect elements. You can never tell what might offend whom so stick with respectful and cosmopolitan communication.
3.Transparent business goals
Just like with the aforementioned reward and bonus system, you should be straightforward with your employees in terms of your business goals. If they don’t know what you’re planning to achieve, they won’t have the big picture.
What’s more, when employees are explained what we expect from them, they’re more likely to get down to work with more dedication and effort. Metaphorically speaking, sailors are more determined to get to the shore when they see the land on the horizon. The same goes for employees: when you set clear goals and deadlines, distribute tasks, and determine milestones, you’ve laid down the entire organizational structure of your business.
Now everybody needs to do their share of work to get things going and share the loot at the end.
In that light, think about drawing up a business plan – version for your employees – and give it to them. Highlight the deadlines and milestones, together with the rewards at the end of the process (if feasible).
Of course, you shouldn’t reveal any confidential data about business finances, especially the ones considered trade secrets.
4.Open your mind for new ideas
Running a business today means being exposed to innovations and changes 24/7. Even if you’re not a digital business, you probably collaborate with employees or clients from other countries or regions. The world is changing so fast that every SMB-owner feels those changes.
If you close yourself within your business like a seashell, you won’t last for too long. It’s hard, if not impossible, to be a hermetic entrepreneur in such a connected world.
As opposed to that, business owners who open their minds to new ideas have better chances to succeed.
If you want to shape yourself that way, apply this open-mind strategy in everything you do.
For starters, introduce an open-door policy towards your employees. In other words, let them ask you whatever they might want to know about their role and business tasks. In such situations, treat them with respect and care, like a general practitioner who wants to keep their patients healthy.
Even if they come with ideas that you find silly or inappropriate, try not to ditch them but give them a polite explanation of why something can’t be implemented.
Apart from that, rely on your team leaders as much as possible. They’re the connective tissue between the management (or business owners) and the workforce. Those people also need to be open-minded and proactive to have the patience for their team members.
5.Understanding digital marketing
As the power of the Internet is rapidly growing, business owners need to follow suit and understand the possibilities of digital marketing.
First and foremost, as suggested by a web design company in Houston, every business needs some sort of a website. Be it a one-page, brochure-like website or a full-scale online portal, you’ll look more professional when you launch it.
Likewise, SMB-owners need to promote their ventures via social media. Several posts a week on major social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – will meet the needs of most entrepreneurs.
Moreover, you can use the web to hire your employees or outsource some of your services. Platforms such as Upwork, PeoplePerHour or specialized freelance websites may help you land the right people for your current and long-term business needs.
Developing managerial skills is a must for every new business owner. What’s more, it’s necessary to build some of them even before you sit in the armchair of a business owner. If you’re still a company employee, take part in as many activities as possible to understand how management works. Attend both online and offline courses that will improve your soft skills, as well. While you won’t learn everything that way, at least you’ll prepare yourself for the forthcoming entrepreneurial challenges.