How to manage a business
What’s your biggest business obstacle? If you answered learning how to manage a business so that you can grow and increase revenue, you’re not alone. We recently surveyed entrepreneurs and small business owners around the country, and we found that only 69.5% are confident in or certain of their growth and scaling tools. But these are tools any CEO needs – especially if you plan to sell your business for a high price.
What is the number one most in-demand tool that will set your business on the right path for growth? It isn’t a certain software or training program. It’s your leadership skills. And learning how to manage your business successfully is directly connected to those skills.
The best tips for managing a business can differ depending on the stage of its life cycle and its size. Yet whether you want to know how to manage a new business or scale an existing one, the answers are always related to communication, self-awareness and resourcefulness.
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Managing a business: delegating versus leveraging
Here’s a fact you may find surprising: Managing a business does not mean you need to delegate. Delegating can actually take more time – and time is money. You want to use the power of leverage. What’s the difference?
Delegating starts with the “what” and the “when” – you tell employees what you want them to do and when to do it by. Then, you review their work and provide feedback until they get it “right.” This means you’re still very much involved in day-to-day tasks, which is what you want to avoid when learning how to manage a small business. When you micromanage everything yourself, you end up feeling that you just don’t have enough resources to get the job done.
But as Tony says, “It’s not the lack of resources, it’s your lack of resourcefulness that stops you.” The key to managing a business is to stop delegating and start using the power of leverage to expand your resources – by being a leader instead of a boss.
When you use leverage, you start with the “why.” You help employees understand why the task is important and how it will help your company. Then, you let them be the expert – while checking in frequently for updates. Delegating is telling people what to do. Leveraging means inspiring them to do it themselves. If you’ve put the right team in place, they’ll appreciate that you trust them enough not to micromanage and exceed your expectations.
How to manage a new business
The infancy stage is a very exciting time for a business. While many of the same principles of how to manage a business apply whether your company is eight months old or eight years old, there are a few things you will need to deal with as a new business owner.
Create a business map
A large part of effectively managing a small business is creating a business plan – or even better, creating a business map – that gives your team the path you want them to follow and the “why” behind the goals you want to achieve.
A business map makes you answer important questions about your business such as “What business am I really in?” and helps you discover ways to identify aspects of your customers’ lives and how you can provide them value. It also helps you connect your goals to your values, which increases emotion and creates customer loyalty.
Establish your core values
Identifying your core values is important when it comes to how to manage a new business because they are the foundation for what your company will become. Your values will play a part in your vision statement, your employee policies and your hiring practices.
Putting all this in place right away enables you to create a solid marketing message you can use throughout the life of your business. If you don’t start with the basics, you’ll find yourself in a situation down the road that requires rebranding, massive layoffs or even closing the company.
Hire the right people
Before you can learn how to manage your business successfully, you have to make sure the right people are in the correct position. As Tony Robbins says, if you continue to be involved in every decision, “You don’t have a business, you have a job.” To prevent yourself from making this mistake, you must build a team that works.
Putting a good recruiting and hiring strategy in place is the best way to attract employers who are a good personality fit, are hungry for success and who will help you create a healthy and successful organizational culture. Putting the right team in place lets you focus on managing a business.
Embrace the role of the leader
Discovering how to manage a business is really a process of becoming a great leader. If done right, you’ll inspire your employees to become leaders themselves. You’ll live your purpose and bring passion to the workplace every day. You’ll be flexible but decisive. You’ll provide vision, but also stability. You’ll be approachable and communicative.
Leadership is 80% psychology and 20% skills. When you change your mindset, you change your life – and your business. The professional is personal, and a business is only as strong as the psychology of its leader.
How to manage a small business
When you’ve reached the teen years of the business life cycle, you’re likely considered a small business rather than a new one. This is the stage when you need to know how to manage a business to begin seeing growth and revenue.
1. Identify your X factor
Every business is different, which is why it’s crucial to identify your company’s unique strengths – and it isn’t your product. It’s easy to fall in love with your product, but managing a business is about falling in love with your customer. Always remember that you are there to fill a need for a customer. The way you do this better than anyone else is called your X factor.
This is what really helps you stand out in a crowded world. It will inform your marketing and lead gen strategies, affect your company values and improve your ability to scale and create growth. You must find a way to do more for your customers than your competition does.
2. Focus on constant innovation
As Tony often says, where focus goes, energy flows. When you focus on strategic innovation while managing a business, your products or services will never become outdated and you will protect your company from disruption.
Schedule regular strategy sessions with your management team to discuss new technology, creating or changing buyer personas and other plans that will keep you on the cutting edge of your industry. Encourage your team to innovate by listening to all of their ideas with respect and an open mind and soliciting feedback and input from all levels of your organization.
3. Develop a growth mindset
The day-to-day concerns for how to manage a small business may differ from large corporations, but you can always operate with a growth mindset. Leaders with growth mindsets believe that they have the ability to learn new things. They seize opportunities to develop their skills, feed their minds with new knowledge and have a deep belief in the abilities.
Whether you plan to grow your business to multiple locations or create a profitable small company you can eventually pass on to your children, success starts with believing that you can learn how to manage a business.
4. Put systems in place
A certain amount of flexibility is essential to innovation. But everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to time management. Use Tony’s Rapid Planning Method (RPM) to shift managers’ focus to what really matters. “Where focus goes, energy flows,” so make sure the focus is in the right place.
You’ll also need systems so that you can begin to use the power of leverage to grow your business. It can be difficult to give up your day-to-day involvement in the company you love. But a truly successful business can operate when you’re not there. As a CEO, your job is to get your company to that point – and much of this rests in the hands of your managers.
5. Provide support
Hiring right means nothing if they don’t have the resources they need to innovate. According to LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if they were given learning opportunities. Investing in employees isn’t just the right thing to do: It directly affects retention and your bottom line.
Professional development, the latest tools and proper training are crucial. While you don’t need to be available 24/7, being accessible to your team when they have questions or concerns is an important part of how to manage a business.
6. Be humble
There are hundreds of tips on how to manage your business successfully and deciding which ones to implement is based on your unique situation. None of these tips will work if you don’t follow this one guideline: keep your ego in check and listen to your team as well as others – such as mentors or business coaches – who you trust.
Practicing humility and gratitude for what you’ve built and those you work with is the best way to ensure you build a business and a life you can be proud of. You’ll also improve your self-awareness and better be able to relate to others and build rapport – two essential keys to being able to influence others to follow your vision and make good decisions for your company.
Ready to lead your business to success?
Sounds like a lot to think about, doesn’t it? You can learn everything you need to know about how to manage a new business or an established one at Business Mastery. Break through your barriers, elevate your business to the highest levels of success and achieve the life you dream of.