Learning how to be an excellent leader isn't just for those in the corporate world — leadership is also a worthy practice in entrepreneurship and small business ownership as well. In fact, it may even be more important.
Because running a small business doesn't automatically make you a leader, let alone a great one. Without clear direction and necessary action for both yourself and your employees, your small business will struggle to grow and succeed.
If you aren't sure where to begin when it comes to business leadership, here are some simple, yet effective, steps you can take to be an effective small business leader.
Build Great Habits
Whether you recognize it or not, you lead by example . . . even in the smallest of ways. When people think about habits, most tend to think of our personal habits, rather than those we have in our professional lives.
Yet we all have them, and they may not always be good ones. Do you have a tendency to check social media too often throughout the day? Or leave your email open with notifications on all the time, which may distract you from getting bigger projects done?
As Charles Duhigg words it in The Power of Habit, "Once you know a habit exists . . . And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them." Duhigg also writes that “The best agencies understood the importance of routines. The worst agencies were headed by people who never thought about it, and then wondered why no one followed their orders.”
To be a great leader in your small business, start by paying attention to your own habits and routines. Be aware of them and recognize which ones are slowing down progress within your organization. Then you can begin to re-work them in order to help your team follow your example.
Have a Plan, a Vision & Goals
Business plans and company visions aren't just a thing of the past. They have key roles in moving your company forward.
Take charge of your small business by mapping out your strategic plan, and modifying it each year as needed. Form a defined vision that keeps you and your team members in-line with the ultimate impact you'd like to have. And set short and long-term goals to be a helpful motivator along the way.
Help Others in Your Network
If you don't yet have a team of employees, you can still practice business leadership.
The first way to do just that is by being a leader for yourself. Even brand new startups need an entrepreneur who can take the business from being a side hustle or passion into a profitable, impactful organization.
Secondly, you may also find that other individuals and businesses in your network and community can benefit from your expertise, guidance and advice. And when you begin to lend a helping hand to others around you, they'll begin to perceive you as a leader they can trust, talk to, and potentially do business with.
Improve Your Leadership Skills with Next Level Groups
Learn how to lead your organization and grow your business by becoming a participant in a Next Level group! These facilitated mastermind meetings provide you with the opportunity to collaborate with peers, sharpen your business skills and improve your bottom-line profits. Read more about the benefits of Next Level groups online or request a consultation to see if this is a good fit for you!