Owning your own business can be a daunting task in and of itself, knowing that you will have employees under you and have to deal with customers? That can be downright scary. That is why there are a few necessary management skills that every business owner should have, or start learning.
1. Good Communication Skills
This can be a tough one for introverted types and those who just have trouble conveying their message well. It seems obvious how the ability to communicate well translates to better interactions with customers, since it makes it clear how your product or business works, why they should choose you over others, etc. What may not be so obvious is the difference that the ability to communicate can make with your employees. Being able to give clear instructions will help your staff do their jobs better.
2. Building Relationships
This isn’t to say you should try to be everyone’s friend; in fact, that is a bad model for most any business, since employees tend to take advantage of bosses who are also their friends. Instead, this is an extension of communication. You should be able to make small talk and know a little about your employees. This also goes for customers. When people feel you are making an effort to get to know them, they make an effort to do better work or return to your business.
3. Know When to Be Tough and Flexible
Whether you are managing your staff or dealing with customer complaints, it is important that you know when to be firm and when to bend a bit. Being firm gives you perspective, not only to reprimand your current staff but to recognize when an employee must be let go or when a potential new hire won’t be a good fit for your team. A little flexibility will also show your employees that you do care about them, and not just the bottom line.
4. Time Management
This goes a bit further than just managing your own time. You must be able to judge an upcoming project or job and know how long you and your staff should spend on any given task. Know how long you and your staff will need to complete an assignment without sacrificing quality. The last thing you want is your company’s name attached to an inferior project or product.
This can be the most difficult skill for any business owner. Your business is like your child, and like any parent, it can be difficult to relinquish control. Unfortunately, that is a quick way to drive yourself batty, not to mention pose a risk to your work’s quality. You need to be able to delegate some tasks to your employees. Trust the staff you have built to take some duties off your shoulders, and you and your business will be the better for it.
Some people naturally have manager skills, while others need time to build and learn these skills. If you find yourself struggling with management, don’t feel bad. Many schools offer bachelors in business management degrees online so you can improve your skills while still working full time. Don’t be afraid to find a mentor and watch how they run their business. You can learn a lot from other successful business managers.