Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How to go from entrepreneur to successful manager

So you are an entrepreneur with a successful small business, you have grown enough that you need to hire people. You have to take time from "doing" to interviewing, hiring, training, motivating, supervising, disciplining, and firing. You have to depend on others to keep your business successful. You have to let go, trust others to do as good a job as you do. On top of that you are not going to have as high a profit margin as staff are expensive and increase your cost in many ways. You need to find quality, skilled people that are reliable because poor staff can damage your business. Now your role changes from doing what you love and do yourself to being a manager dealing with paperwork, payroll, scheduling, and employee issues. How do you become a successful manager and keep your business going?

To be a successful manager you need to know what the needs of your company and employees are and how to balance them. Keeping your staff happy is very important to keep up productivity and reduces turnaround. Most research has shown that employees who feel valued work harder, take less time off and are loyal to their employer where those that do not feel valued slack off, take more time off and are often looking for a new job. Taking the time to hear what your staff needs can be extremely beneficial to you, and your company. Your employees are the people doing the jobs, you never know what insights they have about their job that can improve the job or save money for the company. People are more willing to change or work harder or meet unusual dead lines when they feel a part of the company, not a clog in a big machine.

Being able to deal fairly and promptly with your staff and their concerns goes a long way towards the perception your staff has of you and their willingness to work with you. For example, if your employee has issues with scheduling and your able to help them out then they are more likely to put that little bit extra when the need is there. Treat people with respect, you hired them, if you did not respect them or their ability to do their job why did you hire them. If you no longer feel they can do the job, let them go with their dignity intact.

You also need to be consistent and clear in your expectations and instructions/directions to your staff. Train your people to do the job the way you want it done. Do not assume that they know to do it your way. Once they are trained trust them enough to let them do the job, but still be available for when they have questions, concerns or some thing unusual or unexpected happens.

At the same time you need to keep meeting the demands and needs of your customers. You cannot sacrifice the needs of the company to meet the needs of your staff. As important as it is to work well with your staff you have to be able to recognize that having a good relationship with your staff helps but is not all that being a manager is about. Getting work done is. You need to be able to fire people as well as work with them. Liking some one is not enough of a reason to keep someone if they are not doing their job.

Knowing what needs to be done and when is also very important. As is being organized and able to prioritize. You need to make sure that you keep on top of deadlines, make sure you have everything your staff needs to meet them as well as make sure your staff is doing what they need to do to meet them. If you are a good manager you will have staff you can trust to do the work, being a successful manager means keeping on top of it and keeping things on track.

To be successful you need to be well organized, able to prioritise and work well with people. You have to have an understanding of how to get the people working under you motivated and wanting to get the work done. It is a mix of talents and personality. Some times it is better to hire a good manager then doing it your self. If you are not as good at managing your people as you are at managing your business you could be doing more harm then good. Poor management can destroy a business as fast as poor employees.

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