As a leader, there are things we must do to ensure our businesses run smoothly. If we want a successful business, we must take on that leadership role. We look at businesses that make money and wonder how they are doing it. What practices are they developing to move forward? Is it as simple as doing the basics? What are the basic steps to being a leader for your own company? Here are a few that have helped me be a better leader.
Own what you do – know that you are an expert at what you do. Have the confidence in yourself to know that you can do it. When you speak to clients do not be unsure of yourself this drives people away. Write a list of why you are an expert. What is your training, background, and experience? Own your ability to know your craft and speak as if you have been doing it for years even if it has only been a few months.
Know that you cannot do it by yourself – Get help if you need it. I own my own business and social media is a beast. I now have help to manage that aspect of things so that I can concentrate on running the actual business. Being a leader does not mean you cannot delegate work to others. What good is a leader who is stressed or burnt out? You want to be the best leader you can be for yourself so give others the work and accept help. Many times, as leaders, people are willing to help us but we turn them down. Do not turn help down especially free help from family and friends you can trust.
Meet People– I know we are so used to social media and being behind the computer but every once in a while get out there and meet people. Call people and ask them if they need anything. Check in with old clients offer them something if they bring you a new client. Pass out your business card to everyone who will take it. Talk to your neighbors, casually mention what you do in a conversation. However you meet people, do so. You will not make money if you do not get clients. Some great leaders can tell a story and sell something at the same time.
Keep Learning – A good leader does not stop learning. Take a new course, read a new book, try something different. Always be willing to learn and never think you know it all. No one knows everything and there is something new you can learn each day that will help your business. Always have an ear open to new technologies and innovative ways to reach your core market.
Don’t follow the crowd – I have a saying, if they are not talking about you then you are not doing anything different. Always strive to be different. If that is doing something like a signature element to your business do it. Create a way to get people talking. Be a risk taker and take risks. Always strive to be creative in your own way. As a photographer, one of the elements I use to be different is making sure I take pictures upside down. It is my way of putting a signature touch on my pictures. It’s odd but so many of my clients love it which gets them talking about me.
Say what you mean and mean what you say – Do exactly as you say and mean what you say. As a leader, your word is your most important asset. Keep your word and people will trust you. Not being able to keep up with things you’ve promised is like sending your clients and employees the message that you are not in control of the situation and ultimately of your company. This reflects badly on yourself and you want to avoid this at all costs.
A leader helps others be leaders. They teach and they learn. That is the number one reason I love being a leader. I can take the knowledge that I have and give it to someone else. As a business owner, you must be a leader to yourself and to your employees. They look up to you as the leader and you must show them how you lead by being an example.