Starting a business is a uniquely risky endeavor. When you are so invested in a single idea that you feel compelled to create a full business-model around it, you’ll find yourself making decisions as a leader you never envisioned yourself making.
A leadership role can seem both empowering and overwhelming, but it’s important to create an inviting atmosphere where people want to work for you, without sacrificing your position of control. Once you do get your business off the ground, it’s critical to convey your mission and vision for the company that leaves little room for misunderstanding. If employees or clients are incompatible with the shared vision of your business, they are most likely ill suited for the environment you create. Here are five tips for building a successful work culture and growing your company along the way.
Whether your business is made up of one employee or one hundred, communication is key. Clients don’t like to be kept in the dark and transparency goes a long way towards keeping people happy. In fact, the more articulate and honest you are with those in your professional circle, the more likely they will be to reciprocate. Finally, ask questions. Figure out what employees want and do your best to offer those perks. If worker compensation is at its limit, for example, try providing alternative benefits that don’t affect your bottom line.
As a manager, it can be difficult to ask for help, but don’t assume you always know best. Have no shame if you don’t know how to do something. Consult experts. Talk to friends. Google it. Compare conflicting theories/models and inform yourself before making important decisions. Though confidence and strong personal beliefs are essential to garnering the respect of your colleagues, humility and curiosity are invaluable traits of many successful leaders.
Do Your Research
Some companies are known for their flexible business models and productive, loyal workers. Ask yourself: What successful company would you most like to emulate? What are they doing right? How can you incorporate aspects of their business practices into your own? Read up on these institutions and decide what you can realistically implement for your business and what should be saved for later.
Form Reliable Partnerships
Work with reliable contractors and service providers who you can trust. Outsourcing materials or relying on others to handle a portion of your work can be nerve-wracking so choose credible businesses with quality credentials and a history of customer satisfaction. You shouldn’t always align your business with the loudest or most accomplished firm, but rather, choose to work with people you like and admire.
Don’t spend beyond your means. Create a plan from day one that helps your business stay adaptable and (as much as possible) profitable. A financially strapped company is not conducive to an efficient workspace.