Updated: Jun 13, 2019
Some could argue that there is no harder job than being a small business owner. To others, it may seem like a never-ending 24-hour, seven day a week job. In addition, there are constant levels of stress, fires to put out, on-the-fly decisions to make, while simultaneously having to hire, train, motivate, plan and lead. The survival of the business depends greatly on their ability to juggle all of this while making good business decisions and having an unparalleled vision for the future direction of the company.
With so much to do and little time to get everything done, it is quite common for small business owners to, unfortunately, make some common management mistakes as well. Of course, we’re all only human. The following areas are typical missteps that can be avoided with forethought and practice:
Although most owners know the technical aspects of their business well, this does not mean that they have mastered the art of effective managing. While some are naturally strong leaders, others fall into the category of being conflict averse. They seek to avoid employee conflict situations whenever possible, which in itself has a tendency to produce conflict and under-performance. Other owners, who are not effective at managing, must take it upon themselves through coaching or development programs to learn the proper ways to manage.
In small businesses, owners frequently think it is more efficient and time saving to personally perform some tasks rather than delegating the jobs to employees. As a small business grows, this philosophy stymies growth both for the business and employees. Owners should concentrate on leadership, planning, mentoring, and other high-level tasks. Delegating and employee training is a key to efficiency that must be practiced.
For small businesses, it seems at times that decision-making is a byproduct of crisis management going from one priority to another. Although this might be the norm, shifting priorities confuses and frustrates everyone in the business. It is difficult for employees to be focused on certain jobs or projects when the next day or following week, the emphasis is placed elsewhere. There is no question that priorities can change in a small business, but it is imperative for owners to clearly articulate objectives that align with the goals of the business and stay on course as much as possible. Practicing consistency is a key in developing strong employee commitment.
While some owners fail to delegate, others keep a constant watch overseeing and shadowing employees. Although supervision is important, constant oversight shows a lack of confidence and trust in employees while triggering performance anxiety. This atmosphere eventually leads to poor work quality. Oversight can still be maintained but with quiet observation. Overly protective owners need to work on minimizing what amounts to oversight overload.
When there are a so many things for an owner of a small business to do daily, it is easy to forget one of the most important aspects of managing... communication. An informed workforce is a productive workforce. Informing employees on important issues and having an open-door policy let employees know they are important. It is worth the effort to properly communicate with all employees.
Management blunders are certain to happen but should be the exception rather than the rule. Operating a small business is no easy task but cannot be an excuse for poor management performance. Employees are expected to achieve certain results with few blunders. The same applies for owners and managers.
About the Author
Jason Halberg is an accomplished executive who, in his most recent success, founded an internet startup and grew it into a company with 200 employees and $50 million in revenues. He is passionate and committed on helping fellow entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level. Through this company, High Voltage Advisors LLC, he consults business owners and executives who are looking to achieve faster growth by leveraging his expertise in sales and marketing, business operations, process automation and problem solving. If you are looking to increase profits and reduce stress, then schedule your complimentary business assessment consultation with Jason today.