Let’s face it: just because you’re the business owner, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily cut out to be a great manager. If you don’t have experience leading people from your B.E. life (“Before Entrepreneur”), you might be making a few key mistakes that could hurt your business. Fortunately, they’re easy enough to remedy.
#1. You’re Trying to Be Your Staff’s Friend
You’re the first one to suggest drinks after work. You socialize frequently with your staff, then wonder why they keep showing up late or delivering subpar work. While you certainly should strive for positive professional relationships with your employees, you need to realize there’s a line in the sand. Standing on one side of it can help you gain respect from your team and establish you as the one in charge.
The Remedy: Be friendly but not overly so. It’s fine to occasionally attend social work functions, but keep your professional front (and curb your drinking if that’s involved) to maintain some distance.
#2. You’re Letting Your Staff Control You
Whether it’s their constant schedule requests, the whining they do about their co-workers, or their last-minute “I’m sick and can’t work” call, you’re at the mercy of your employees. And you’ve got work to do.
The Remedy: Make it clear that you’re there for your team, but that there are rules. If they can’t come to work, make it their responsibility to find a replacement. Post your office hours and let staff know a closed door means you don’t want to be disturbed.
#3. You’re Churning Your Wheels on Rote Tasks
Making the weekly schedule. Paying staff. Managing your social media. There are so many things you’re doing that you don’t have time for the big-picture stuff, like planning your business strategy or finding new customers.
The Remedy: Get help. That might mean assigning some of these tasks to an existing employee, or even hiring a new one. Or it might mean investing in software that can automate some of these tasks, like scheduling and email marketing.
#4. You Don’t Trust Your Staff
You’re the business owner, so naturally you’re the one who knows how to do everything correctly, right? Wrong. By constantly hovering around your staff or correcting them incessantly, you’re not giving them a chance to learn from their mistakes and ultimately perfect their craft.
The Remedy: Just step back and trust your staff to do the job you hired them for. You might be surprised at how well they come through for you.
#5. You’re Managing a Staff When You Shouldn’t
Don’t assume that because you’re the business owner that acting as manager is necessarily your birthright. If you’re not skilled at overseeing a team of employees, you might be better off hiring an experienced manager and putting your focus back on running your business.
The Remedy: Find someone with experience in your field who can act as a manager and keep your staff in line and happy to work for your company.
The biggest obstacle is simply admitting you’re making mistakes like these. Correcting them for the good of your company is the easy part!
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