Taking the time to listen and work with co-workers is important to a small business.

5 Traits to Leading a Company to Success

To lead a successful small business, you want to work hard and be versatile. Giving maximum effort is needed, but it can’t be in just one sect of the company. Instead of pigeonholing yourself as just a finance expert, or only able to work with customers, a worker needs to be able to accomplish a wide variety of tasks in order to help a business survive and grow.

Being versatile and working hard aren’t the only necessary attributes of a small business leader. There are five other qualities to strive for that can help you assist your company to success:

Listening
Even in a small business with just a few employees, it is tricky to get everybody on the same page. There are bound to be differences of opinions on both miniscule tasks and important, business-shaping projects. As a leader of a company, you must be able to hear all the voices, regardless of what position the person speaking holds in the company.

A strong listener will only talk 20 percent of the time, Psychology Today said. You should try to take in and comprehend everything you hear, then respond by turning an idea, suggestion, complaint or question into something productive for the business. When you do speak, make sure your words have meaning. Challenge co-workers by asking questions about what they said, and work to turn a good idea into a great one for your small business.

Problem Solving
Every company, regardless of size, will run into its fair share of issues. Being able to navigate out of a difficult situation is the sign of a strong business leader. By creating a strategy for how to deal with problems, you can prepare for any conflict your company may find itself in.

Being a good problem solver involves being confident, according to Gregg Weisstein, the COO of flower delivery advising company BloomNation. Weisstein told American Express Open Forum that confidence can help you solve any issue that may arise.

“Self-actualized small-business owners know they can accomplish just about anything,” Weisstein said. “Self-aware leaders know they can be and do anything, and they realize that no problem is too big as long as they’re willing to put in the hard work to solve it.”

Create future plans your business can reach with hard work and great skill. If you set a goal and reach it, that’s great. But if you fall short, that shouldn’t be the end of the world either. Plan with co-workers to create a business plan that anticipates both struggles and successes, since each of those are realistic points any small business will go through.

Being Realistic

There is no harm in being ambitious, but it is equally important to stay realistic when leading a small business. Know the limits of yourself and your staff, so you are not setting the entire operation up for failure if specific goals are not met.

Good Planning
Analyzing every element of your business and planning how those aspects will thrive and grow is an important step, Entrepreneur magazine stated. Creating a detailed business plan will allow you and your fellow employees to have a great understanding of deadlines to meet and actions to take. A plan also helps a company compile and look over data to make informed decisions on how to reach specific goals.

“A strong listener will only talk 20 percent of the time.”

Long-term plans are important, but you can also map out how to accomplish tasks on a daily basis. Managing time and organizing tasks are important when there is so much responsibility on your plate, because you cannot afford to forget anything. Planning deadlines and being able to measure accomplishments against a set timeline will help you keep everything on track every day.

Looking to Improve
There is no shame in saying a task is too tough for you or your staff. Some goals will prove to be out of reach, despite your business’s best efforts. But by always being on the lookout for ways a company can improve itself, you are putting a business in the best position to avoid those letdowns.

A small​-business owner should have a strong eye for talent, Forbes suggested. Be an active member of a hiring team and be on the lookout for job candidates who can bring unique skills to a business. Find untapped potential in the employees you currently have. By growing the skill-level of your company, you will improve the chances of accomplishing all the tasks you need to finish.

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