Critical leadership skills for a business owner

Small Business Leadership Skills

If you choose to run your own business, you are opting to be a leader. You can't choose to be a business owner but not be a leader, it is not even an option. Below are ten leadership you must learn, polish and excel in for your business to grow sustainably:

Small business owners must be able to step out of their daily operations and think strategically. It is critical that they can take time to strategise and plan for the long-term success of their business. This includes setting goals, identifying opportunities, and developing a plan to achieve them.

The business landscape in Australia is constantly changing, and small business owners must be able to adapt to new challenges and opportunities as they arise. 

Strong communication skills are essential for small business owners to guide, inspire and engage their employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Effective in how, when, what, and via what platform to communicate is critical in the fast-changing economic environment.

Small business owners must manage their time and their employees' time effectively. Time is a valuable resource, and any wastage cost businesses highly. A business owner doesn't have the luxury to pick a nonvalue-add task or waste it by not making a decision. Business owners must stay on top of their business responsibilities and meet deadlines.

Small business owners must use a structured approach and data to make quick and effective decisions to keep their business running smoothly. These decisions can be about resources, opportunities or employees. The most critical factor in decision making is the method/ path taken to reach a decision and how frequently its revisited and validated.

Business can only exist if it is solving a problem. Small business owners must be able to identify and articulate a problem before they rush to solve it. A small business owner must ensure a structured approach and validated tools embedded in a business to solve a problems. If the owner is the only person solving problems, they are a bottleneck for that business's growth and sustainability. A business owner must invest time teaching employees how to solve a problem.

If a business owner cannot articulate how they make money and how much they must spend to deliver their services or products, then such a business may only last for a while. A business owner must have their finger on the pulse of their business, i.e. revenue, cash flow, cost of goods sold, expenses forecast etc. 

It is only a business if you can sell. Small business owners must be able to effectively market and sell their products or services to attract and retain customers. A business owner must understand the detailed profile of their target customers. Who are they, what do they like and how do they like it?A business doesn't have to be a genius in marketing or sale; however, it must understand the basics to employ or engage an expert to market and sell.

Small business owners must build relationships and connect with people within their industry and outside. These connections will bring you new opportunities but, more importantly, provide you a wealth of practical knowledge and tips. You can learn the best practices or modern tools others around you use.

The biggest hurdle for any small business to scale, is that they can't retain people. If your business only revolves around you, your knowledge and expertise, then growth will be hard to achieve. Small business owners must be able to inspire and lead their employees to achieve their business goals. You must understand each person's unique strengths and expertise to your business. Leadership is about getting the best out of people around you. A small business owner, must learn and apply modern tools, theories and skills to attract, train, engage and empower their team so that they can focus on more than the day to day of their business.

A business coach can help you identify your strengths and put together strategies to mitigate areas of improvement. You can take our "Business Health Assessment" to discover the skills areas you need to focus on to build a sustainable and self-propelled business. You can also book a complimentary coaching session with Atif to discuss your immediate challenges and create an action plan.