If you’re in the business of running a small business, it can definitely be hard to get those early stage investors excited about what they are doing and why they would invest in your company. That’s where these three key strategies come into play: being a team player, using technology to help with operations that may have previously been too manual, and not taking things personally when faced with difficult scenarios. I’ll go over each one in this article, but first, let me say what a privilege it is to be interviewed by some big industry leaders like myself! But even more importantly, if you read through my previous articles and if you follow me on social media, you know that there’s a lot of content out there related to how to run a successful small business. So for the purpose of covering the topic, I know that just about anyone will benefit from reading what I have to share here.
Being A Team Player
There is so much confusion in today’s business world. From trying to seem too cool by always buying expensive products at every turn or spending way more than you can possibly afford, everyone seems to think that they need to do everything themselves. This isn’t good enough in any long-term scenario, especially if money is involved. You want to hire people who have skills that complement your own and will add value as well. The problem is that most companies aren’t sure exactly what they’re looking for. Here are some examples:
1. “I’m only hiring people who like working alone. They don’t need to work on multiple projects and if anything takes longer than expected, they have to take time off and give someone else their attention.” — One manager I talked to pointed out to me that this was a common mistake of mine. It is important to note that working alone does not mean ‘working on his/her own. Rather, it can mean working on multiple tasks in parallel or going with an outsourcing partner who specializes in certain areas. For example, many software companies use freelancers all around the globe who are experts at delivering excellent results thanks to specialized skill sets. In other words, if you’re offering consulting services or digital marketing services, perhaps you should consider partnering up. It’s worth noting though, that in my opinion, partnering up with another person is better because you have a higher chance of getting something right than if you were solely responsible for yourself. 2. “People cannot be trusted. We are not accountable and we are lazy sometimes.” — Another manager pointed out something similar for me while also pointing out that a single task shouldn’t take 20 hours to complete and shouldn’t take you two weeks to finish. However, we need to acknowledge that there are exceptions to this rule. People who have specific abilities like writing, talking in front of large groups during presentations, etc., could find working with other people extremely rewarding. Also, a great part of collaboration is working with others to develop new techniques to enhance an individual’s productivity. Once again, there are opportunities when working with a team helps a company achieve goals faster, and this could include adding a line of code, improving our service quality, or simply increasing output. 3. “It doesn’t pay to ask questions. There is no real relationship. People don’t care whether you’re fired or kept on staff. People treat you like trash. Nobody wants to deal with somebody who treats them like garbage.” — These managers tend to really drive me nuts. At times I almost wish that they weren’t hired for their job position because it would be like having an employee constantly fighting back against management’s decisions. The sad truth is companies do need to hire employees and people in general because they would otherwise have trouble finding work in today’s labor market. Companies should strive to build relationships with their employees instead of treating them as if they don’t matter. Of course, nobody likes dealing with such people, but it’s necessary in order to keep morale high and stay competitive in today’s economy.
Using Technology to Help With Operations That Previously Were Too Manual
This last point speaks directly to the importance of building strong relationships within the workforce. When the tech community is making headway in terms of providing solutions to make remote work easier, teams need to listen and accept that it’s fine to let workflows move past handshaking and face-to-face interactions and rather focus more on creating better ways of interacting. As described above, technology gives us access to resources online in order to create and process information more efficiently to create more efficiencies for businesses. One easy way that we can start thinking of using technology to improve operational processes is through automation. As mentioned before, we tend to rely on spreadsheets for a variety of operations, which is far and away the worse option of moving forward. Using tools like Workfront that allow organizations to automate essential processes like HR and finance has proven to be an effective way to save valuable time and money. Instead of manually calculating data, an organization can now easily track down payroll or manage benefits for workers without needing to be physically present at the office. Having said that, there are cases when automations are not suitable, such as when there is no real budget to spend on a specific purchase. Still, it can still make a difference since you’re saving unnecessary cost. Automation doesn’t mean eliminating human intervention completely from your organization, but rather allowing people to become more efficient at completing daily activities. Whether you’re managing inventory, filling orders, sending invoices, or tracking sales, having a tool that allows automatic reminders can drastically reduce the workload for both sides.
Avoid Taking Things Personally
If an employer asks you for your phone number and says that he/she needs you urgently, it can feel like it’s happening all the time. All I’m saying here is that you need to realize that sometimes the best solution is just waiting on them. Even when it feels like things are coming your way, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll happen. Sometimes what happens is that your concerns are brushed off or dismissed. By remaining calm and in control, you can learn to trust that things will resolve themselves without the stress of worrying about them all the time. Be honest with yourself. Take ownership for your actions or the choices you make. While you may still take them personally, it’s important to know that once you understand that the circumstances are out of your control, then it becomes much easier for you to be able to forgive and move on. Don’t forget that life is all about perspective. No matter what happens at your workplace, there are many opportunities for growth. Embrace those opportunities rather than dwelling on them. Being a good leader means showing leadership in the workplace as opposed to simply keeping it in practice. Showing up with self confidence is often what makes leaders stand out to the rest of the world. Doing so not only makes others want to work with you, but it enables you to show up consistently with the same approach. Finally, remember that when you take a step forward, the next thing you know is taken somewhere else. Your actions affect the trajectory of the world as a whole, and the world takes action. Whatever you do, make sure that you leave the world better than you found it. Remember that you are responsible for your success. And if you want to grow your business, keep learning new ideas and never stop growing and evolving with time.