Guest Blog: Leading and Growing a Small Business

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tAs the leader of a small business, you wear many hats. There are hundreds of things that need to be completed on any given day and, many times, you are the only person who is available and capable to get them done. You have the most at stake and, let's face it, the buck stops with you.

tHowever, of all of your daily responsibilities, there are three critical responsibilities you have: strategic planning, rainmaking, and growing other leaders. Keeping focused on these primary activities will ensure that your business is positioned and dedicated appropriately to maximize the potential of your business and vision.

tHere are some tips for maintaining and growing your business.

tStrategic Planning

tUnderstanding where your business is going and understanding what it's going to take to get you there is important not only for you, but also for your other stakeholders, employees, clients, and vendors. It is critical that you have a strong vision and mission, as well as annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly objectives, which are communicated and well known throughout the growing enterprise. This will enable everyone to understand what the business’ priorities are and how your resources will be positioned to ensure the success of the company. A small business can't afford to waste its resources, so it is critical that they are focused appropriately every day.

tRainmaking

tYou are the company’s visionary and its No. 1 cheerleader. It is imperative that you make time to meet with prospects and clients on a regular basis to understand their needs and how your business is uniquely positioned to fill those needs. This will provide you with a better understanding regarding the resources you have, the resources you need to acquire, and what other opportunities may exist in the marketplace that you were not aware of. The market does not lie. Your clients will drive your business forward and you need to understand their needs and gain further insight into the opportunities that await you. Making money in your company a top priority.

tGrowing Other Leaders

tIf you are a one-man show, you won't be for long. Look at the talent that surrounds you today, whether it resides within your company or exists outside as a virtual employee. It is your job to help these individuals grow as the business grows.

tMany times I have seen small businesses rapidly grow, leaving behind the employees that got them there in the first place, as they haven't developed the necessary skills to survive as the business becomes more complicated. It's imperative that you take the time to nurture and build the future leaders of your organization. This will pay dividends for you down the road as the business grows.

tGrowing other leaders requires that you trust other people and allow them to make decisions on a day-to-day basis as you coach them about how to make the best decisions for your business. Building an organization that does not require you to make every decision possible requires you to trust the decision-making of people that you work with, and allow them the freedom to learn from the organization’s successes and failures along the way.

tDan Glisky is the president of TerraYebo Inc. and My Inch of the Earth in Madison Heights. 

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