Every single year, tons of small businesses fail. And so in this article, I’m going to be sharing with you five tips to becoming a more effective business leader. I went through the pain of losing my entire team the first time I scaled it, and this wasn’t our path as we went from pre-revenue to a multi-million dollar startup.
And so it’s hopefully by sharing these tips that you can avoid making these same mistakes when you’re running your business.
Tip 1: Hire people that are smarter or harder working than you
First tip I have for you to becoming a better business owner is to hire people that are smarter or harder working than you. The reason why this is so important is because it’s by bringing in talent, that brings in a fresh perspective that is actually going to drive your business forward in the ways that you might not be able to take your own business.
Oftentimes, when you are first starting out in the hiring process, you might be a little bit hesitant here because you feel a little intimidated because that person might potentially be more knowledgeable than you in a particular way, but what the experienced operators ultimately realize is that it’s these exact people that are going to take their business from one X-ing to actually 10X-ing. So it’s really important that you learn how to quickly recruit and retain these individuals on your team.
One example I have is a few years ago, I hired a guy to be a customer success manager. And then over the years, he wanted to become a data manager. And he took it upon himself to self-teach himself business analytics. And he ultimately came to me one day and said, Hey, Will, I want to actually go do my masters in data analytics. And rather than try to dissuade him from doing that, I asked him what he needed from me. And I focused instead on writing his application letter to get them into a quality masters program, which then allowed him to hone his skill set and then bring that value back to our business.
So it’s something in which, by finding the people that are ambitious, that are harder working than you and smarter than you, you’ll be able to actually get better results than when you are the only one working on your business.
Tip 2: Document and delegate constantly
If you ever find yourself doing the same thing once or twice, it’s something that somebody else on your team can help you with as you start to scale out your team. It’s really important that you, as the business owner are thinking at a macro level as much as possible. Even after being an entrepreneur for over a decade, this is still something I struggle with on a regular basis. So don’t be alarmed if you struggle with this the first few times that you do it.
But what I want you to do is the next time you find yourself doing something that you’ve done before that you think you could train somebody on your team to do, record a video of yourself doing that using a tool like Loom, and then share that with a team member, with some written documentation to see whether or not you can delegate that to them.
By removing these sorts of tasks from your own calendar, what you’re able to do is then refocus that time strategically and thinking about what the next stage of growth is for your business as a whole.
Tip 3: Check in and actually care about your team
The third tip I have for you is to check in and actually care about your team. You’d be surprised how many managers and owners don’t actually care all that much about their employees. So by taking the extra step to get to know your team on a personal level, it can make a huge difference in how much buy-in you have from your team to actually work harder for you. The best way to deliver feedback is to do so on a weekly basis. So it’s really important for you to invest the time in the personnel that you’re bringing on to your business, because if you’re not investing in your people, then ultimately your business is going to stagnate sense.
You’re going to be left with the same skill level that they had before. So it’s actually checking in, learning about what their interests are, as well as what they’re working on and where potentially can intersect with the needs of the business that you’re able to actually drive everybody forward together. It doesn’t have to be a win or lose situation. In fact, in many situations you should be looking to create win-win opportunities for your employees.
Tip 4: Empower your team to be autonomous
The fourth tip I have for you to becoming a better business owner is to empower your team to be autonomous. This might take a period of time to actually pull off successfully the first few times that you’re delegating, but it’s something that’s going to be really important for you as you remove yourself from the day-to-day of your business.
As you start to grow and scale your business, it’s all about focusing on the big picture. And so it’s really important that you can set your employees up for success to work autonomously from you. In other words, if you documented and delegated and tip number two, then your employees should be executing to a pretty high level or pretty comparable level to you personally doing that particular task at this time.
This also means that in the case where you gave somebody something new to tackle that they feel empowered and supported in terms of knowing what they need to do in order to find the answer to that particular problem that you want them to solve. If you’ve ever read the book, Drive by Daniel Pink, you know the importance of autonomy, mastery, and purpose at work.
When you give people autonomy, you really give them ownership. And when they feel that ownership, they work harder as well for you because they feel like they’re going to be pushing themselves as they also drive forward outcomes for your business.
Tip 5: Remind everybody of the bigger picture and their part in it.
The fifth tip I have for you to becoming a better business owner is to make sure that you are reminding everybody of the bigger picture and their part in it. It’s really important that you remember these two components here. It’s not just important for you to share your overall collective goals, but also share how each individual plays a role in that collective role in your aspiration to hitting that particular goal.
So for example, if your goal this year is to hit 2 million revenue, then what you should be explained to every single person on your team is how this customer success team helps reach that 2 million goal in terms of customer retention or how the sales team helps you reach that 2 million goal in terms of the new customers they’re bringing on, and so on.
It’s really important that everyone understands their part because it’s by feeling that team atmosphere that people actually get buy-in, and when you get buy-in, you get something really magical in the small stage startup world, as well as in the small business world.
If you liked this article, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week. I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from learning tips how to be a better business owner.