Small Business Management -Intro

Small Business Management 101

This post about small business management has been in the making for some time now. In working with business owners and entrepreneurs for over 10 years, there are some glaring holes in leading and directing employees. Taking notice of these issues is not a form of passing judgement, but rather a chance to grow and operate the business better. When you think about management in the context of small business, what do you see? Many would recall to mind movie scenes from the following movies:

  • Nine to Five
  • Horrible Bosses
  • Office Space
  • Boiler Room

What do all these movies have to do with management? Simple… they depict scenes where a boss (or manager) is directing and telling others what and how to do their jobs. If that’s what you’re thinking about when you hear the word “management”, then you’re wrong!!! Admittedly, I even think about management from this corporate image from time to time, but again, it’s totally wrong. Go to sba.gov and check out some interesting employment stats based on firm type and total sales. Pretty much over 55% of small businesses in the United States employ between 1 to 5 people. What does this mean concerning management? It means that the business owner(s) and / or active investor(s) must learn to lead others in an intimate yet subtle way by having a 1) clear and concise vision and mission statement and 2) clear and concise strategy for obtaining the mission of the business. Let’s talk about having a clear and concise vision and mission statement.

Where Are We Going?

In thinking about having a clear and concise vision and mission statement for the business, the owners and / or investors must consider: why are we doing what we’re doing and ultimately, where are we going? Too many times and with much error, aspiring business owners think that due to market and / or industry know how, they are equipped to start and operate a business including managing others. That’s a huge mistake and a deceiving thought process. Managing others is a skill that needs nurturing and growth through real life experience along with a good measure of trial and error. The key in managing others that’s mutually beneficial for the business and the employee is to have a desired end goal (vision and / or mission statement) in mind for the business. It’s true that during the planning and operating phases of the business, things change A LOT!!! Those that are tasked with managing others in the business must keep the business on track in terms of fulfilling the end goal (visions and / or mission statement) while at the same time optimizing and nurturing the skills of the employees responsible for the operations of the business.

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