Van Theodorou asked:
You are the owner and manager of a small business. Not only do you need to know about the inner-workings of the business and the financial issues but you also need to be a good manager. Management skills can be just as important in keeping the business running well as your other areas of expertise. Here are some quick and easy management tips to help you keep the business running smoothly.
Make rules but be fair. In this day and age you need to set some ground rules so that each employee is treated fairly. However, you also need to know when to use common sense to guide you through sticky situations. Write down your expectations, and then translate those into language that your employees will understand. Present this to each new hire and post the rules in the office.
Understand the workings of the data and telephone systems. Use new technology to help your employees work more efficiently. If your company warrants it look into a good corporate long distance plan. Train employees on the office systems in place so that they can take advantage of the timesaving features they provide.
Don’t worry about the small things. If you have a tendency to micro-manage your employees they won’t feel free to be creative and to think outside the box. Allow others to do things in their own way as long as they can accomplish what’s needed. Constantly picking on the work of others will only keep employees from ownership of their work.
Learn to delegate. Most manager/owners have trouble giving up tasks to others. They may feel that the work is best completed by them. However, you need to give employees a chance to be productive. If the only tasks they ever receive are mundane or tedious they will soon tire of the situation. What’s more, you need people who you can count on to help the business thrive. After all, you will need to take time off and get a vacation and need to know that the business will run properly even when you are away.
Teach employees what their job is. Write complete job descriptions for each position. These descriptions should be specific and complete so that current and potential employees understand their job functions. Update the descriptions as needed. Provide plenty of on the job training and remember that not everyone catches on quickly. Have patience and understanding.
Communicate regularly with all employees. Employees need to know what is happening. Rumors can run rampant and can ruin morale in the process. Send a monthly email memo or hand out a newsletter. The communication will do wonders to keep things running smoothly and to keep attitudes up.
Stress good customer service. First and foremost your customers are who keep your business going. Make sure that employees put customer service first and keep it there. Offer courses or webinars that teach employees good customer service skills. Plan some training time each month for each employee. Even an hour or two per month will help keep customer service in the forefront.