First-time business owners experience anxiety when turning over duties as the business grows. No leader wants to be perceived as the lazy “idea guy,” but there comes a time when growth is essential. Leadership means focusing on the big picture instead of walking around the office providing nothing. Train yourself to delegate every duty that doesn’t need your authority by spending one hour each month auditing how you spend your time throughout the day. You are not doing your team a favor by backing them up with menial tasks if it means you’re not out there creating new opportunities for them.
2. Basic Communication Skills
This might sound obvious to anyone, but the most enormous and consistent gap I see between founders and leaders is not having adequate communication skills. A lack of communication can be a massive vulnerability for teams and organizations. As a leader, you should lead by example and help implement a culture that thrives on proactive, open, and honest communication. This should flow in every direction and include gaining feedback from clients, partners, and staff. By not having this skill, negative sentiments can grow and spread within the organization. This will create a domino effect, eventually impact employee morale, then spread to other aspects of a small business. A common misconception is that good communication is a natural skill. While it can be, it can also be taught and learned through experience.
3. Financial Literacy
Nothing is more critical in a business than understanding the finances. A good business owner knows how much things cost, including labor, sales, advertising, etc. This is important to maximize cash flow and have good planning for the future. Numbers don’t lie; they give you an honest, strong understanding of your business. It also indicates what direction your business is growing in and where it needs more focus.
4. Digital Marketing
In today’s society, digital marketing is essential for any business to grow. Many people have access to low-cost internet than ever before, and people rely on search engines to help them find information to buy products. A business owner needs to have a piece of knowledge about social media marketing, online advertising, and more to guide the business’s growth. You can hire knowledgeable people on these aspects, but you still need to be informed enough to lead your team in the direction you are heading for your business. You also should have the ability to track and measure the results of different campaigns.
Self-aware leaders can perceive others accurately and help them align their team’s strengths to the business—make wise choices about how you will handle a situation. Use your emotional intelligence and empathy to assess how you impact others through your characteristics. Successful leaders already have an understanding of how to harness their inner strength. Self-awareness is the key that enables you to develop an authentic personal brand.