According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), small business owners work 50 to 59 hours per week on average. However, 38% of owners agreed that poor time management challenged their productivity. It’s clear that small business owners don’t need to work more hours to increase their productivity. Rather, you need to find ways to work smarter. Luckily, there are ways to boost your management game and help increase the productivity of your business. After deciding on a management style that best fits your business, you can find tools to support your style.
So what’s the difference between management and leadership? Broadly speaking, leaders set vision and strategy and drive company goals while managers focus on execution at a team level, setting direction and priorities for the employees who report to them. Leading and managing aren’t mutually exclusive. Most leaders manage and lead people, especially in small businesses.
Great management means different things to different people and organizations, but most would agree it combines achieving measurable results with building a positive company culture on a day-to-day basis. Salesforce has published a course about management on Trailhead, the company’s free, interactive learning platform. The trail, “Manage the Salesforce Way,” details the company philosophy on what makes a great manager, including the aptly named GREAT Manager Framework. The framework breaks great management down into these five characteristics:
Salesforce Smart: Know your business, top to bottom and inside out.
Get It Done: Always help your team get the work done well.
Win as a Team: You’re successful when your team is successful.
Motivate and Champion: Motivate your teams and act as a champion for your team members.
Courageous Communicator: Be bold, candid, respectful, humble, and vulnerable when delivering messages to your team. And always listen to understand first.
Swap your company’s name in for Salesforce in that first characteristic, and you’ve got a basic framework for managing your own small business. Check out the entire trail for more strategies and techniques for coaching and feedback, engagement and retention, accountability and delegation, and much more.
Great managers aren’t born, they’re made through learning and work. Whether yours is a small business of two or 200, it’s never too late (or too early) to put the work in and develop your management skills.
Systems can also translate to multiple areas of the business, creating cohesion across the company. For example, the same reporting system can be used for the sales team, customer service team, and accounting team. This way all the reports are in one place and written with the same structure, making it easier to quickly find important information. As a business grows or changes, the system can be adjusted to fit new needs.
While teaching a new skill takes time, it’s much easier than hiring and training new employees. Employees who are loyal to the company and willing to go the extra mile can prove invaluable over the long haul, paying dividends on the upfront costs of hiring and training.
Integration and automation can give small business owners the freedom to work on other projects instead of following up individually with each potential lead. Marketing and customer journey management tools show business owners how customers interact with their website, and highlight opportunities for business owners to create more effective points of interaction on the site.