Running a small business is not easy. Even if there are fewer employees than in other larger corporations and sales numbers are lower, many problems arise daily. Your staff might not always be motivated, or you might lack the resources to put in place decisions that would benefit the organization as a whole. Also, it may be more difficult to market your products and services to potential clients while maintaining costs low and keeping existing customers satisfied.
As such, it takes an individual with courage, decision-making ability, and the right mental framework to navigate the different challenges that arise and find adequate solutions to fix them.
Luckily, there are several tools new business owners have at their disposal and various ways to keep workers motivated and focused on their jobs. Three of them build an environment of creativity, empowering people to take on leadership roles, and using existing technology as an advantage and a tool.
An Environment of Creativity
A relaxed mind is a creative mind. When the human brain has the opportunity to let go of menial undertakings and focuses on allowing inspiration to flow, great things tend to happen. On the other hand, when your surroundings are filled with stress and anxiety, it is difficult to concentrate, and ideas are restricted.
It comes as no secret then that the best companies in the world provide their employees with the room to decompress and disengage from daily tasks. Examples include the Googleplex in Mountainview, California, the Apple Park in Cupertino, and the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Washington. These and other facilities have all kinds of staff amenities, including swimming pools, bars and restaurants, and even jogging trails.
Of course, your small business probably doesn’t have the financial resources to do this. Still, if sales have been increasing and you have a little extra space, you could hire the services of a tennis or basketball court contractor and build an exercise facility for your workers. It would not only show you care for their well-being but also foster their creativity through sports.
The aim of great leaders is not to have as many followers as possible. The goal of anyone in a top position should be to train others so that one day they can either take over the reins or serve as valuable allies. While this might sound like common sense to many, several entrepreneurs and small business owners fail to understand that true leadership is not about giving orders and having people follow your commands. Instead, it is about empowering people and giving them the tools to make adequate decisions and stand independently.
But how does one do that? How can a manager delegate tasks and at the same time establish leadership roles within an organization? What about small companies with few positions and even fewer promotion opportunities for staff? Is leadership even possible in this kind of scenario?
At first glance, the answers to these and other questions would appear to be no. Yet, there are certain things people in upper-level positions can do to benefit those below them. For instance, they can allow junior staff to attend important meetings on a listening-only basis. Another option is to assign mentorship roles in sales or project management to top performers in the enterprise.
Technology as a Tool
Existing technology is there to help you. It is there to make your business grow, be profitable, and expand into local and global markets. In today’s day and age, technology is the ultimate equalizer. What only a few multinational corporations could do in years past is now accessible to most firms, regardless of their size.
An example of this is marketing. With the exponential growth of the internet, search engines, and social media, not having a large pool of money is no excuse for mediocre marketing. You don’t have to work with an expensive advertising agency to market your products. You don’t even need to work with any agency at all. All you need is a clear vision, a long-term strategy, and an avid imagination, and your firm can design a social media marketing campaign to compete with the best of them.
Another way technology has leveled the playing field is the advent of cloud storage systems and project-based compute engines. Companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM currently offer businesses big and small the entirety of their resources at a fraction of the price. As a small business, investing in expensive hardware and software is something you no longer have to do.
As we have seen, there are three different tips company managers and entrepreneurs can use to run their organizations better. By following them, leaders of small and medium-sized corporations are giving themselves the best chances to flourish within their industries.