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3 Critical Leadership Duties of the Small Business Owner

As the leader of a small business, you wear many hats.  There are hundreds of activities 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.  However, amongst all of the activities that you must do on a day to day basis to grow and build your business and to ensure that your vision becomes a reality there are three critical roles that you must play: Strategic planning, Rain making, and growing other leaders.  Keeping focused on these three primary activities will ensure that your business is positioned and focused appropriately to maximize the potential of your business and vision.

Strategic Planning

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

Rain Making

You are the company’s visionary and its number one cheerleader.  It is imperative that you make time amongst all the other things that you need to do to meet with prospects and clients on a regular basis to understand their needs and to understand how your business is uniquely positioned to fill their needs.  It will provide for you the intelligence that you need to understand what resources that you have, what 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.  Being the chief salesperson of your company is a strategic part of who you are and what will make your company successful both now and in the future.  Make raining making business into your company a top priority.

Growing Other Leaders

If you are a one man show, you won’t be for long.  One of your most essential objectives is to grow other leaders within your business.  Look at the talent that surrounds you today, whether it resides within your Company or exists outside your Company as a virtual employee, it is your job to help these individuals grow with you as the business grows.  It is imperative that they have the vision and the understanding of where your business is going, and that you help them acquire the skills and the knowledge that the business will require as it grows.  Many times I have seen small businesses rapidly grow, leaving its employees that got them there in the first place behind as they haven’t developed the necessary skills to grow and 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.  Growing other leaders requires that you trust other people and to allow them to make decisions on a day-to-day basis as you coach them and teach them 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 organizations successes and failures along the way.  This is a common mistake that many small business leaders make as they can’t let go of the day-to-day decision making.

Strategic planning, rain making, and growing the future leaders of your company are three critical tasks that will ensure your business maximizes its potential.  Amongst all the activities that you have to do on a day to day basis, make sure that you pay appropriate attention to these critical activities.

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dan Glisky Jr
Dan Glisky Jr.

Dan is the President and COO of StartupNation and drives forward its mission to encourage meaningful action in the lives of its users. Dan has been the force behind several successful startup businesses, including TerraYebo and My Inch of the Earth, Digital 10 Media, and Compsat Technology, where he accrued several glorious titles, accolades, and gold stars on his refrigerator. His previous ventures have left him with a fervent dislike of the metric system. He lives in Detroit, MI, although he has a summer home in Canada, where he is forced to use the metric system.