Entrepreneurs who started their business alone and have since grown and hired staff, find themselves in a leadership role – possibly for the first time. But what makes a good leader and how do you know if you’re doing it right? How can your business plan help you to inspire your employees?
Learning to Lead
Cultivating leadership skills takes time and patience, and while some people may be born leaders, this doesn’t mean that others can’t also learn how to be successful in a position of power. Much of this learning will come from experience, and each success and failure in your business will give you an opportunity to learn. What went wrong, how could it be avoided, what will you do better next time? What contributed to your success, and how can you do it again or even improve upon it further?
In an ideal workplace, respect is given between all members of staff in all positions. As a leader it’s important to respect your employees and their time and skills, and in return you will gain respect if you operate in an open and honest way, tackling problems appropriately and taking responsibility as well as action.
Inspiring Your Workforce
People will be happy to work for you if they are invested in the business, the product and your story. Inspire your employees by telling them how you got started, what’s happening right now, and where you want to go. Give them opportunities to be involved in ways that excite them and will require them to use their specialist skills, and keep them up to date with what’s happening in the business. Use your successes to inspire people to continue doing great work, and use your failures to give them opportunities to help the business get better.
Share Your Vision
Not only will sharing your vision inspire your employees, but it will also give them an opportunity to shape it. If you adopt a flexible approach to your business, others will follow. But first they need to understand your ultimate goals and values. Once these are in place, you can change your plans as necessary as you learn from your experiences. This is where your business plan comes in. Your business plan isn’t just a document for you or your investors, but it’s a roadmap for everyone in your business to work from – and a good leader will give people the chance to influence the direction this road map will take.
If you would like any help with writing a business plan to take you from loner to leader, get in touch. Call cbm on 01604 420 420 or contact us online using the form on the right.