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The 5 Best Leadership Traits for a Thriving Small Business

Being a small business owner is a great feeling. There’s a sense of pride that you get from starting down your own path and getting to create your own opportunities, but there are challenges that you will face as well. Competition can be fierce, and it can be difficult to separate yourself from the pack. However, there are steps you can take to build your brand’s reputation and promote growth for your business.

1. Know When to Step In, and When to Step Away
As a small business owner, you’ll wear many hats in the day to day operations. You’re the owner, an employee (sometimes the only one), an accountant and even the janitor. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and burned out with responsibility, and it’s important to know your limits.

Successful owners identify their strengths and weaknesses and learn to delegate responsibilities accordingly. Of course, it can be hard to relinquish control for some owners and they will struggle with it. But the sooner you realize the big picture and how division of roles can grow your business, the sooner you will hit your goals and recharge.

2. Set SMART Goals
Speaking of goals, it is important to have them. Think of the goals that you want to accomplish with your business and write them down. Put them in a place where you can see them every day for motivation. While looking at your goals, you might notice that they are a broad statement. They may say something like “I want to earn this amount of money,” or “I want to grow it so that I can retire in this many years.” These are good goals, but try to break them down.

SMART goals are Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely. Instead of saying how much you want to make, say how much you want to increase revenue by the end of a certain period in the future. Make sure it’s within the realm of possibility, and track your goal along the way. Using the SMART method gives a visual path of your business and will keep you on the right path.

3. Promote Leadership and Growth
As your business expands and you take on new employees, you will have a great opportunity to hear new ideas. Now you don’t need to follow each one, but it’s good to get feedback on what your employees are thinking. Having weekly meetings, company outings and general cross-departmental communication promotes new ideas that you can implement into your business.

You also get the chance to work personally with your employees in a smaller setting. This is perfect for training and teaching so that they can help you run your business smoothly. Don’t miss out on this! Being distant from your employees and not listening to opinions will only create tension in the workplace.

4. Make Your Mission Clear
All businesses whether big or small have some sort of mission statement. In its simplest terms, a mission statement is basically why you exist as a company. What do you offer that’s better? How do your customers benefit from the relationship? These are just a couple of things to think about when creating a mission statement.

Not only will this be one of the first things customers see, but it is also the ruler by which they measure you. Exceed, and they’ll be pleased. Fall short, and they’ll wonder why you ever chose it. So as you start your business, come up with your own mission statement and strive live up to it.

5. Continue Your Education
As the years go on and your business grows, you may think that you have all the knowledge you need. This is not the case. In fact, the worst thing you could do is stop learning about your market, and more importantly, your competition. Successful owners stay up to date on the latest tips, tricks and trends to adapt their business.

Whether it’s new industry techniques or simple brand marketing, you need to keep up with the curve. There are a variety of websites and books you can find to keep teaching yourself and your employees. Molding your business mind will give you that competitive edge that you need to outlast your competition.

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