You’ve been working hard for a long time to get your business to the place it needs to be. First, give yourself a pat on the back. Being a small business owner is not easy, but you are doing it! Now, it may be time for you to consider adding some team members to your business in order for it to grow even bigger and faster. You simply cannot do everything on your own forever, but taking the step of adding people to take responsibility for your business (which may sometimes feel like your baby) is a necessary but hard step to take. Here are a few tips to make that transition a little easier.
1. Clear communication is key
When talking with your team, be clear about what you expect and what needs to be done. Be sure your instructions do not include complicated steps you assume they already know how to do. Remember, your team may not have all of the knowledge that you do about how to perform a specific task or project. Also, encourage questions and comments. Keeping your team informed about the status of a project makes them more invested in their work.
2. Set your expectations up front
Letting your team know how you expect their work to be done takes a load of pressure off of employees. Think about teachers you had in the past who assigned a paper and gave very vague expectations about what he or she wanted from the paper. What writing style? How long should it be? Taking the guesswork out of your employee’s projects will ultimately allow them to do a better job with less stress.
3. Be adaptable to what management style your team needs
When managing employees, there is a way you would like to manage them and the way that they would like to be managed. The key is to find a happy medium by adjusting your management style to find what works best with your team. Work culture and dynamic are incredibly important within an organization. A manager who will not be flexible to what his or her team needs in order to be successful will greatly hinder that valuable work culture.
Being flexible is important, but when you make a decision, stick to it. People often become uncomfortable with leaders who change their mind. When changing your mind on things you can come off as unstable, not confident and easily swayed. Your team needs to know that you can make the right decisions and they you are leading them down the right path.
5. Know that becoming a good manager takes work
Managing (especially for the first time) is not easy! No one is the perfect manager right off the bat. Once you accept this, managing will become much easier. Managers are often hard on themselves when things are not going smoothly, but knowing that it will take time to adjust, learn your team and figure the best way to motivate them takes the self-inflicted pressure off.
You have been a successful entrepreneur for so long that you have learned how to do everything yourself. Now, it is time to let others do some of the work you have been doing in order for your small business to grow. Trust is a huge part of learning to delegate. Now that you have expertise and experience in your industry, you have to trust that others can do the job you once did just as well.
7. Be honest
This is likely the hardest thing to do at times, but it pays off the most. When your team can trust you and know that you are being truthful, nothing can hold you back from growing together. It establishes respect and encourages employees to be honest with you as well.
8. Lead by example
All of the previous tips lead to this one. Each tip not only applies to you but should apply to each team member of yours in one way or another. Other specific ways to lead by example would be if you expect no typos or errors on projects, make sure you double check and edit your work before sending it out. If you want your employees to always be on time, make sure you are always on time as well. If you are a good manager, it will be reflected in your team’s work.