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2015-03-20 06:56:03Starting UpEnglishLeadership is an important factor in growing a small business - here are some tips from chief executives who've built their own successful... Management Tips for Small Business Owners

Insider Management Tips for Small Business Owners

4 min read

The startup scene in Hong Kong is growing year by year. Every day, there are new companies being started – with the dream of growing and becoming a household name in their respective industries.

More than just talent, though, leadership is by far one of the most crucial factors in determining a company’s success, and in building a thriving corporate legacy. You don’t have to go without guidance though. Many chief executives who have founded and built thriving, successful companies are more than willing to share tips on how they expertly managed and grew their companies.

Trust Your Employees

The workforce is getting more and more mobile. Telecommuting technologies and other tools allow workers to work from home and on the road. As a manager, having a reliable employee base means you don’t have to worry about handling lower-level projects or micromanaging. This gives you more flexibility to focus on the execution of your corporate vision.

GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons stated in an article, “I can make time anytime I want, and there’s a reason for that: I accomplish everything through other people. That gives me tremendous bandwidth.” In other words, CEOs and other chief executives must trust that their employees will be able to perform at a high level and make the right decisions on their own. This frees up the CEO to take on more high-level goals and visions.

Bob Compton, CEO of former communications startup Vontoo, argues that you should only concentrate on the tasks a CEO can perform. He believes that focusing on high-level tasks will ensure that you are “driving your day, and not letting the day drive you.”

Get Virtual

As more companies seek to consolidate physical office space and offer employees the option to work from home, there are many tips out there for how senior executives can keep their workforce productive. For many supervisors, there are two main ingredients for running a successful virtual workforce: 1) trusting your employees, and 2) setting up a system that supports virtual workers no matter where they’re located.

Entrepreneurs and CEOs can now start companies out of their living rooms, thanks to the internet and its many tools for managing virtual employees.Graham Hill, founder of the successful blog Treehugger, launched his company from an apartment in Barcelona with little more than a laptop and an internet connection. He worked purely with remote contractors during the first two and a half years of growing the site, and paid writers via PayPal. This mobility allowed him to run his website while living in countries such as Argentina, India and Thailand.

With advances in telecommunications, bosses can supervise employees from virtual offices, using instant messaging and teleconferencing. Despite this, these same executives admit that face-to-face communication still can’t be fully replaced. According to Inc., online social media entrepreneur andWordPress founder Matt Mullenweg uses an internal tweeting and instant messaging system that allows employees to communicate online, but all of his employees get a chance to come together and meet colleagues in person at the company’s annual meeting.

While working remotely can provide employees the solitude they need to work without normal office distractions, meeting in person, even if it’s only once or twice a year, can offer a rich opportunity for building team morale, boosting company loyalty and making personal connections.

Keep Communication Channels Open

One of the world’s most admired companiesApple Inc., thrives on a company culture that encourages debate and allows workers to challenge each others’ opinions, according to Fortune editor Adam Lashinsky. The same applies to rewarding workers who’ve gone above and beyond their job descriptions. For instance, the Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, which runs notable brands including KFC and Pizza Hutmakes it a point to recognize outstanding employees with unique rewards such as rubber chickens and miniature Taj Mahal statues.

Track Accountability and Productivity

Paul English, co-founder of travel-booking website, ensures that both new and existing employees know the company’s metrics regarding customer service performance and website traffic. English achieves this by installing monitors that display critical numbers throughout the office. Employees are even able to view a real-time feed of the latest customer service email sent as well as a photo of the employee who answered it. As the leader of your company, you need to make sure your employees stay productive and have a frame of reference when measuring success on both individual and team levels. This helps employees stay accountable to themselves and one another.

More importantly, CEOs and other senior management should keep communication channels open with new hires and existing employees at every level. Sometimes the most insightful conversations are those that happen in hallways or by the water cooler.

Don’t assume you that your employees will read about your company’s strategic vision in corporate literature. Instead, speak with them directly about your business strategy. Encourage employees across the organization to ask questions, and not just in the meeting room. This will help you keep your finger on the pulse of the organization, and provides a unique chance to share your business strategy as it relates to their position within the organization.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.
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