If you are an entrepreneur, you are probably constantly inundated with small business tips and well-meaning friends who want to give you their best leadership advice for small business owners. It can truly be overwhelming. Over the course of owning and operating this business as well as helping our clients operate their businesses, we would like to think we’re something of an expert when it comes to this topic. And so, we have written this article to help you cut through the clutter with four quick small business tips based on our experiences.
Leadership Advice and Small Business Tips
Small business tip #1: Practice humility
Perhaps the most important piece of leadership advice for small business owners is to remember to practice humility every day. As entrepreneurs, it is likely that we will fail often (especially in the beginning). But, these failures can be advantageous if we are willing to take them as a learning experience and be accountable for our mistakes — something clients and employees alike appreciate in a leader.
Furthermore, practicing humility can empower those working for you to come up with novel or innovative ideas for your company and, more importantly, make them comfortable presenting those ideas. Very few people are willing to share ideas with an autocratic boss who always has to be the smartest guy in the room. Having a leader who acknowledges shortcomings, persists with grace and gives credit where credit is due is a powerful example for others on the team.
#2: Know the difference between spending and investing
You have likely heard the phrase, “It takes money to make money.” And while that is certainly true to a point in some scenarios, many small business owners fall into the trap of using that old adage to justify unnecessary spending that stifles the ability to grow the business in the long run. If you are investing your money rather than spending your money, it means that you are dedicating resources to an area of the company that will ultimately produce a return on your investment. Furthermore, it must be a good investment. For example, if you borrow money to improve your business, the revenue generated must exceed the principal and interest you owe.
#3: Focus on your strengths instead of weaknesses
A piece of leadership advice for small business owners that is frequently acknowledged but rarely followed is to focus on the areas of your business that you are really good at. Small business owners are constantly pulled in all directions and it is unreasonable to think that anyone can be successful trying to be all things to all people within their business. Smart business owners realize that their time is a precious, limited commodity and will find the best way to invest their time is in the things that they do best. On the flip side, they are aware of which areas they are not great at and find ways to delegate those responsibilities to others. For example, many small business owners lack the time or desire to manage things like payroll, tax reporting and human resources. That is why so many small businesses partner with firms like us to handle those items for them; It allows entrepreneurs to maximize their time (the business’ most important resource) to contribute to the growth of their business.
#4: Surround yourself with good people
No one sets out to hire bad people to work with. But not all small business owners put enough focus on hiring people who they ultimately like and respect. That is not to say you should hire family and friends (that can be an HR nightmare), but a solid small business tip is to follow your gut and only entrust your business to those whom you feel confident have your best interests at heart and who bring value to your business. This goes for workers and vendors alike, which is exactly why we have made a point of doing everything we can to uphold our sterling reputation with the business owners we partner with (well, and also because it’s the right thing to do).
If you would like to free up more of your time to focus on your business and think that we might be a good fit, give us a call for a free small business consultation. We have a diverse selection of services, meaning we will probably be able to find the perfect fit for you on that front. And during our consultation, you can get to know the good people who make up our team and are the ones we need to thank for our success. If it is not a match, no worries! There is no obligation that comes along with your consultation … After all, it would be silly to ruin a relationship over something as fickle as chemistry.