7 Entrepreneur Tips to Be a Better Boss
Becoming an entrepreneur can be more difficult than expected. The dream of being your own boss likely sounded fantastic at the time you made the decision to build your business from your great idea. However, most entrepreneurs focus on excitement of building something and often forget that they must become something much different than they were in their past life.
You must find the best way to lead the vision you created through your business plan while also running the day to day operation. This is always most successful if you can find a way to inspire employees and build a future they can get behind.
All of this can be overwhelming to many entrepreneurs. They can become very frustrated with the process, and many businesses with fantastic ideas and a clear vision end up failing because they didn’t understand some very basic concepts, or they simply didn’t take the time necessary to ponder and communicate their vision to their employees.
We’ve put together 8 entrepreneur tips to help you find ways to grow your business through proper understanding of what your vision is and clear communication of that vision to your employees. While you shouldn’t do anything on this list, we encourage you to take all of the following points to heart in running your entrepreneurial venture.
Business is an Ecosystem, Not a Battlefield
I know The Art of War is a really awesome book, but does it really apply to business all that well? Some successful businessmen have used it as motivation when deciding on business strategies but that doesn’t mean that 1) it’s right or 2) that it works in today’s business world.
Everyone is in business to make money – nothing more and nothing less. We’re not at war with other businesses, we’re in a competition with them for the attention of paying customers. If you approach your business’s operations like a battlefield you’ll likely turn off the best talent while failing to put your true vision to work. Unless, of course, your vision was full of blood-thirsty warriors willing to do anything to survive. I can’t imagine that it was.
Make your decisions based on the reality of what you’re really trying to accomplish. You want to make money by converting people into paying customers. Find ways to do that more efficiently and successfully and stop worrying about beating everyone else at it.
A Company is a Community, Not a Machine
If you push your employees too hard they’ll hate working for your and will end up resenting the time they spend slaving away for you. At the end of the day you, as the entrepreneur, are the one that truly benefits from the hard work your employees put it. Make sure they’re aware of that.
Your employees aren’t machines. They need sleep and a balanced life. They need praise and constructive feedback. They need to feel like they’re doing a good job and they need to like what they’re doing. If they don’t get those things then they are likely to slowly shut down. The work they produce won’t be as good for you, and they won’t enjoy it. No one wins in that scenario.
Management is Service, Not Control
If you were that guy that was excited to get into management because you got to control everyone else’s schedules and tasks, then you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. Being the boss doesn’t mean you should control the lives of everyone you pay. It means you get the right to serve those individuals and inspire to create better work that makes the company more successful.
Just because you think you can do things better than anyone else at your business doesn’t mean you should be the one doing it. Your time is valuable and if you’re doing your job correctly then you won’t have time to perform many individual tasks. Many of which you likely were more successful at before becoming an entrepreneur than many of the people you hire to perform them are now.
Inspire your employees and teach them to be better. Set them up for success, but don’t think you can keep your thumb on them and control their whole workday.
Your Employees Are Your Peers, Not Your Children
If you have children you know that you often get a different tone in your voice when you’re scolding them. You are trying to correct them by telling them what they did wrong, or how they could have improved their decision. There is no circumstance in the world where you should be talking to your employees like that.
Your employees should be treated like they’re your peers. You don’t need to throw your weight around get respect. Everyone knows you own the business and at the end of the day you have the final say on everything. Let your employees feel like they’re part of the decision making process. Let them give input, and always talk to them like an equal. You aren’t better than they are just because you had an idea and took a risk.
Motivation Comes From Vision, Not From Fear
The most important thing you can do as an entrepreneur is to create a compelling vision for the future, and then communicate that vision well enough to your employees that they feel as invested in achieving it as you are. If you can do this then you’ll be able to move all the metaphoric mountains you want in order to achieve your business’s goals.
On the flip side of that, trying to motivate employees from fear yields a very short term reward that eventually runs out of gas. People can respond to fear of losing their job or fear of being scolded for awhile, but eventually they stop responding to it. While it might get the current task done the way you want, it won’t get your business any closer to where you want to be.
Change Equals Growth Not Pain
Change is great, or at least it can be. Most change in the business world is met with opposition because people naturally don’t like it. They push back against it and don’t want anything to be different than what they’re accustom to. The problem with that is that in today’s business world change is vital to your business success. Being able to adapt and switch directions when the market changes is important and you could be left behind all of your competitors if you can’t figure out how to achieve it.
The important take away from this point is that you need to find a way to communicate with your employees about change before it happens. Get them on board with the reasons behind the change and make sure they know exactly what is going to change. If your employees can expect it then they won’t fight back as hard, and when it comes time to change they will feel like they’re ready for it. The majority of change fails because of a lack of communication.
Technology Offers Empowerment Not Automation
Technology is fantastic. It can help us achieve so many wonderful things, but it can’t achieve those things by itself. It still takes real human knowledge and interaction in order to build it, modify it, and make it run. The biggest problem with technology in business is that people think the technology should solve their problems and do their job for them. That’s not going to happen any time soon, and hopefully it never does.
Technology can empower you to make better decisions through the data it provides. It can improve your processes by making them quicker and more efficient. It does not automate your work life, though. It gives you the tools and the power to be successful but you still must take action for it to help you.
The Smart Hack
Take these entrepreneur tips to heart and find a way to implement them into your business. If you’re struggling with your employees truly analyze what your communication processes are like. Do you talk to them enough? Have they been properly trained? Most employees fail because they either aren’t told what is expected, or they aren’t given the right knowledge or tools to succeed. If you want have a great business then first make sure you’re a great entrepreneur.