The philosophies surrounding business leadership practices have changed dramatically over the past several decades. Years ago, it was common for a single owner to call the shots and dictate orders to his or her employees. Today, the research is undeniable, showing that the most successful companies are the ones with leaders who focus on taking care of the team so the team can take care of the business.
Small business ownership is less about running a company and more about leading a team.
One of today’s most respected business leadership approaches comes from a landmark study on leadership strengths that sought to better understand how successful business leaders lead. Tom Rath and Barry Conchie’s international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0 distills 30-years of their research on strengths-based leadership into one of the most thorough accounts of what it takes to successfully lead an organization.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 reveals the study’s discovery of three keys to effective leadership: knowing your strengths and investing in others’ strengths, getting people with the right strengths on your team, and understanding and meeting a set of basic needs of those who look to you for leadership. Continue reading →
If your filing cabinet is bursting at the seams, you’re not alone. As a small business owner, you have a lot of paperwork to keep track of – everything from business licenses, employee records, lunch receipts – the list goes on.
Some of the more challenging records to manage are your business’ tax documents and all of their supporting paperwork. Navigating tax document requirements is complicated and is often unchartered territory for a small business.
As a default, many business owners end up unnecessarily saving every last receipt for years and years. Or, they become overwhelmed and throw away important information. Continue reading →
When it comes to taking on a partner to start or grow a small business, there’s no right or wrong answer.
Partners can complement each other’s management skills and bring benefits such as special expertise and client relationships.
As with any relationship, there are trade-offs that must be carefully considered before deciding whether adding a partner is a wise move, and then you have to find the right person for the role.
If it sounds a bit like marriage, you’re not far off. Having the right partner can be a terrific advantage for a business. Making the partnership successful takes as much energy, effort, and positive feelings for one another as it does to make a marriage work.
There are several important things to consider before choosing a partner and entering into a business partnership. Continue reading →
Developing and launching a new product requires research, resources, and a determination to follow through despite roadblocks and setbacks. If you have a product idea, how can you better ensure your development effort goes smoothly, and the end result is a win for you and your company?
While product development comes with varying levels of complexity that depend on the type of product you plan to create, several key ingredients for success remain universal. Continue reading →
The path to business ownership is an exciting journey. As you embark on your journey, you need a few things to successfully reach your destination. First and foremost, you need a good roadmap or GPS to successfully navigate your way.
The SCORE Startup Roadmap, sponsored by FedEx, guides your journey, from your business idea through opening your doors to customers.
Whatever startup route lies ahead of you, the Startup Roadmap provides direction along the way. It will help you chart a course to success, minimizing detours and dead ends so you can get to your goal faster. This Roadmap will take you from the initial step of defining your business idea through your ultimate destination: launching your business. In each chapter, we’ll teach you what you need to do and give you the resources and expertise you need to get it done. Continue reading →
From one-person entities to Fortune 500 companies, no business can escape the dreaded task of bookkeeping. While it’s definitely not one of the more glamorous parts of the job, bookkeeping is at the heart of small business success, which means errors can be crippling.
To avoid the financial headaches that come with bookkeeping mismanagement, it’s important first to be aware of the pitfalls that can ensnare you. Continue reading →
Making the sale, especially when your small business offers products and services to other businesses, demands more than being good at what you do. It definitely requires building professional relationships. To do that, you must earn your customers’ trust.
There’s no scientific formula for earning trust. It requires time, patience, and honest effort.
Here are some suggestions to help you lay a foundation of trust with your potential customers: Continue reading →
It seems somewhat contradictory, but the more technologically savvy buyers become (and the less time they spend visiting stores or talking to services providers on the phone) the more they want a personal, emotionally gratifying experience with businesses.
Entrepreneurs must find ways to not only appeal to customers’ desire for quality products or services, but also to their hearts.
In a Harvard Business Review article by consumer intelligence experts Alan Zorfass and Daniel Leemon, “Our research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level.”
What does this mean for you? Instead of just transactions, your business must make memorable interactions. To gain a competitive edge and win customer loyalty, you must make an emotional connection with buyers. Continue reading →