How To Be A Leader And Run A Successful Business: A Guide

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How To Be A Leader And Run A Successful Business: A Guide

Oct 08, 2021

Being a small business can be tough. The days are long, clients can often be demanding, there are huge responsibilities to consider that many new business leaders are not familiar with. Whilst it is tough, small businesses play a role in the success of the economy.

To run a small business, and hopefully turn it into a medium-sized enterprise, will take hard work, dedication, a bit of luck and the guidance of a strong leader.

Qualities Of A Strong Leader
Poor business leadership can take many forms. A team that is being poorly led will lack direction, inspiration, and cohesion in the workplace. If marketing, sales, and customer service teams are disjointed, then nobody in the company will be able to get their work done to the set standard. Over time, a weak leader in business will create a downward spiral of dysfunction, which will inevitably trickle its way into your customer relations.

Whilst you may know what poor leadership looks like, what does a strong leader look like? These are just some of the qualities that you can often find in an individual that is a good business leader.

  • Flexibility – True leadership in business is goal-oriented but entwined with flexibility. As a successful leader, you must be adaptable in your approach to running a business. If not, your problem-solving abilities will be less effective. Strengthening your business and leadership requires engaging all challenges with an open mind. Following this approach, you will be able to see all of the options that are available to you.
  • Skilled At Conflict Resolution – Regardless of your communication strength, at some point, you will experience conflict in your company. Being an effective business leader requires that you learn how to handle conflict in a way that defuses tension and turns them into opportunities. A significant part of conflict resolution involves negotiation skills. Being able to negotiate effectively, the parties involved in the conflict will not have felt like they have either lost or won. Instead, all of those involved will have learned something and reached a fair result. A result in which one that they can build upon to create improved strategies for the future.
  • Aim To Inspire – One of the primary strong leadership traits is that you can encourage others within the team to be at the top of their game, bringing their best self to work every day. Instead of making demands, an effective business leader invites collaboration amongst their team. If each member of the team feels as though they are valued and respected, then everyone feels empowered to bring their full creativity to the table for the workday.
  • Be An Empathetic Individual – In business, empathy is possibly one of the most vital skills that you will ever learn. Within business leadership, empathy is equal to understanding the other party’s perspective to enable you to find a common ground with them. Instead of focusing on your differences, you will be able to communicate in a manner that will promote collaboration to achieve your shared goals.


Ways To Become A Great Leader
Searching for ways to build your business leadership skills shows how you are already demonstrating your potential to lead. Natural leaders have a desire to perform at the top so that they can then inspire others to do the same. These are just a few effective skills for leadership and business success.

Create Bonds With Suppliers
Regardless of the industry that you operate within, it is important to establish strong bonds with those you do business with. In this partnership, ask yourself what you are bringing to the table. Both you and your supplier need the other. Take the time to get to them. Building these bonds could prove to be beneficial in the future should you need their service at short notice.

Appreciate Competitors
It might sound strange to appreciate your competitors. At the end of the day, you are both competing to be the best in the business and the top choice for clients. However, it is your competitors that will inspire you and drive you to improve your business. They challenge you to push the boundaries of what is possible. Motivate yourself to find new ways to be both a successful business but also be a great leader. Be appreciative of the impact their competition is having on your business.

Consider The Perspective Of The Customer
You should always take into consideration your customers’ point of view of the business. It will prove to be valuable for everything, from your marketing promotions to problem resolution. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Think of how you would like to be treated if you were to be a customer at your company. By reversing these roles, you will find ways to help boost the customer service experience, ensuring that anyone who chooses to invest in your products or services will have an enjoyable experience. Improving your customer service experience will increase your chances of previous customers referring your business to their peers in the industry, helping to expand your firm's client base further.

Celebrate All Victories
No matter how large or small, celebrating successes and victories in the company can create a close-knit team with empowering beliefs. It can be tempting to focus solely on the unsuccessful deals, underperforming employees or a mistake made by team members attempting to make changes or improve.

Not celebrating the successes or honoring the dedication of those going above and beyond is a mistake. Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool, in particular when you use it frequently, as part of your business leadership skills. The result is that your corporate culture will be one brimming with positivity and growth.

Build A Support System
In life, everybody needs a support system around them, especially during the difficult moments when you need someone to lean on. The same is true in business. There will be moments where your confidence is knocked down a few levels. In these times, you will need someone there to help push you back on track. It could be a support system in your personal life or the company, amongst you and your employees. Having this support system in place in the workspace will prove to be beneficial. Not only be beneficial for you but everyone working at the company. Everyone can utilize the support provided to help them back up when their confidence is affected. It will help them continue moving forward to achieve the shared goal, despite taking a hit.

Undergo A Course
Leadership training can teach you the skills needed to lead effectively. It could be the skills required to influence and persuade people, including those you have little direct authority over. Participating in leadership training can widen your thinking abilities, helping you think in creative and innovative ways.

After completing a course, you should receive an NLP certification which can be beneficial in your career. You can later use it should you decide to switch career paths. The skills you would learn in an NLP course will enable you to communicate better and boost your confidence.

Benefits Of Being A Strong Leader
You know the qualities that make a strong leader and the ways to become one. Now you want to know what the benefits are of becoming an effective leader. After committing your time to build yourself up into a strong leader, you want to know if the benefits will be worth the dedication you have put in so far. The short answer is yes. The benefits that can come from being a strong leader will be worth the effort you have put in to strengthen yourself. Here are just a few of the benefits being a strong leader will bring.

Form Effective Teams
Naturally, we all prefer working with those we know and trust. Being a good leader will promote a culture within the workplace of collaboration and cohesion. Rather than focusing solely on the negatives and ways to sanction any mistake, a strong leader will encourage, motivate, and lead their team by example. Showcasing how working together is crucial for helping the business to succeed.

An Increase In Productivity
After creating effective teams, all driven to succeed, you will notice that productivity levels will begin to increase. If the team feels like they are working towards a shared goal, they will work harder. They will work cohesively to collaborate on projects and ideas that could one day change the company for the better.

Spot Opportunities
Many influential leaders are often visionaries. They are the ones that look at the bigger picture. Strong leaders can look ahead, stay focused and goal oriented. From a business perspective, having a leader means that they can stay one step ahead of the competition, thanks to the drive of their leader.

Build A Happy Workforce
Staff retention is crucial for any business. If a business has a low turnover rate, it shows potential employees this is a company that is an enjoyable workspace. It suggests that the staff are cared for and valued. Both of which are crucial qualities many look for when applying for a role. Regardless of the pay, the job role responsibilities and sometimes even the perks, if a company has a high turnover rate, it is most likely due to poor management.

Poor leadership reduces a person’s chances of moving and changing roles within the business. Those in charge of trying to retain talent should ensure that their employees are well aware of the options available to them in the company. It could mean creating a new job description for a role that is catered better for them and their personal goals. In doing this, business leaders will retain talented individuals in their business. It will also ensure that the person is being valued and heard.

Invest In Your Team
Many people want to find a role that will grant them opportunities to grow. They want to work within a company where they have a chance to grow with the company. It could be the chance to progress higher in the role they are initially hired for or moving to a slightly different position - one where they can expand their skills and learn new things. If there is no room to grow or opportunities to learn new skills, employees will likely begin to look elsewhere for work.

Investing in your team could include paying for them to take a course. It could be a course that allows staff the chance to learn new skills and knowledge that will help them in their current role. The skills learned could be beneficial to them in their personal career growth. Either way, employees will be grateful for the opportunity to learn something new. It shows them that you support them and are willing to invest in their career – regardless of whether it is with the company or not.

The Bottom Line
Leadership affects the bottom line. The revenue of a company is impacted by how a business operates. An effective leader will use all or a combination of the factors that create a strong leader. The result is that the management will notice an increase in revenues due to how well the company is running. All of the employees will be happy in their work, and ultimately, productivity amongst the workforce will be high.

The alternative, which is poor leadership, will have the opposite effect on a business. The employees will be unhappy with both their role and with the company. Feeling unsatisfied and undervalued will make employees want to leave, which causes the business to have a high staff turnover.

By being a strong leader, you can make a difference. Not only to the success of the company but how employees feel. Many benefits come with being a strong leader. It might take time to perfect. However, the result will be worth the commitment you put into becoming a strong and effective leader.

Meet The Author:

Ella Woodward

Ella Woodward

As a woman making her way to the top of the corporate ladder, Ella Woodward has the expertise and business knowledge to guide readers through the latest developments in the fast-paced business, financial and investment spaces. She has the contacts, instincts and insight to discover the latest deals, trades and organisations that are worth your time. Being in constant demand, she’s made this blog as a resource for you to see a small selection of the work she’s done over the years.


The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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