There’s something about owning a business that makes some owners cringe with anxiety.
While cash flow and employee challenges are cringe worthy, there’s one essential business skill that when left undeveloped can leave your entire business operation strained.
The skill I’m speaking of is your ability to communicate clearly and effectively to those supporting you. It’s your ability to become more influential for your business.
After all, you 're NOT telepathic, and nobody can read your mind!
How you communicate as a business leader and how often you communicate are variables that can be improved if you want to lead your business to the next stage of growth. It’s great communication from you as the leader that will rally others to support you and your business.
You run the risk of your business becoming stuck
You know the feeling when despite best efforts income fails to grow, problems arise that eat up your time, and most days you're simply trying to keep up with all you’re responsible for.
It’s natural for a business to reach a plateau and become stuck. The challenge for you is whether you have a plan for growth, and if you’ve communicated it effectively to those who can help it achieve growth.
It begs the question: What exactly do I have in mind for my business going forward?
I bet using that question as a writing prompt you could quickly rattle off several sentences on your thoughts for the future. You might try doing that right now if you haven’t before.
It’s these visions you have as a business owner that will keep you from ever becoming stuck as a business. By simply making the time to jot down strategic ideas and defining a plan of action, your chances of becoming stuck are reduced dramatically.
Like it or not your passion, your values, your work ethic, the person you are, is reflected in the business you operate. You are the one thing connected to everything else in the business.
But if you are unable to communicate clearly and frequently about what you have in mind for your business, it leaves those supporting you wondering what the future holds for them. It can unfortunately lead to people doing the best they can with what they know. Then if it’s not meeting your expectations, it’s because you weren’t clear in providing the desired direction.
Employees feeling indifferent
Lack of communication leaves your employees feeling indifferent about their work. Employee indifference is not a good look for your customers either.
All because communicating isn’t something you like to do. You find it uncomfortable, and even useless when others don’t deliver the desired result you actually keep in your head and never make clear. All because making your feelings known, and providing clear direction induce anxiety.
By and large, your employees and others supporting you in your business are there because they want to make a contribution to your business. They are also choosing you when they join your business.
Yet some business owners don’t understand the fact that all employees, and especially new employees, need frequent communication if they are going to consistently meet the high expectations of the owner.
It's essential for you to speak your mind
You can’t let the anxiety of speaking your mind to your employees about your expectations, purpose, values and goals get in the way of leading your business to greater heights. If those supporting you are going to make a contribution to your business they NEED to know the particulars of why your business exists in the first place. If it’s clear to you it can easily be made clear to them.
This is about you building influence as a business leader. It’s an essential skill every owner must embrace to become a great leader for their business.
As customers and employees come and go, you and your close advisors remain the constant that allows your well prepared businesses to survive the challenges.
I believe every business owner has the ability to design and cultivate a culture around their business that attracts their ideal customers and employees. It’s not easy, but when done well you have a business that feels connected through and through.
4 tips towards becoming more influential for your business:
1. Cultivate Business Culture By Design
Culture is often created through the actions of the business owner which means you do influence the culture of your business. You can also make it a negative place to work. Simple awareness of this is crucial, and from there you can create a business culture of your own design. What kind of culture or vibe do you have at your workplace?
2. Define Roles and Responsibilities
This should come as a no-brainer for most, yet there's too many times where there's a lack of clarity which creates friction within your business. Roles and responsibilities need to be clear and documented in order to avoid confusion and friction. When you recognize this as the business leader you put people in the right position to succeed in their roles.
3. Set Clear Expectations
Many times this is a case of the business leader thinking they've given clear direction, yet the outcome wasn't what was expected. Setting expectations covers a wide range from showing up on time to how one interacts with customers. Many expectations are established within the culture of the business. Others, like production objectives, have specific goals and are demonstrated in the numbers.
4. Establish a Consistent Meeting RhythmNot having meetings, thinking they are a waste of time, is an excuse for you not to prepare for a meeting. This simplest way for you to be heard by all responsible parties is to conduct short, well-run, meetings consistently. You turn this into a rhythm by making it the same day/time each week. It also means you have a deadline to get your thoughts prepared. Effective meetings are essential to success.
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