Small Business Success Secrets from Leaders

August 12, 2022

Large corporations may appear out of reach to small businesses. All businesses, at one point, started small with a dream. Even companies with the best ideas had to have had excellent leadership to grow their business; to be the household names offering must-have products and services that include life-changing products and services that no one can do without!

Here are a few tips from top business leaders that small business owners may be able to appreciate in their daily operations.:

1. Leaders need to be willing to adapt.

In today’s climate, one must have to be a chameleon, so to speak, to be successful!

No leader is more adaptable than Elon Musk of Tesla. While he has a reputation for changing directions too rapidly and with little warning, which may be challenging for those in his circle, he is not afraid to switch plans and steer his teams to another course.

He is very much in tune with trends that impact his businesses. He is willing to make changes early on. When change occurs, he does not hem or haul around in watching others adapt first and respond late in the game.

Making quick decisions may seem risky. Taking a risk earlier than later may appear risky but sometimes, waiting until a situation presents itself in a fashion that is impossible to avoid makes waiting for a choice that can be rather costly. For example, if the cost of goods is rising and there is chatter that it will continue to grow, adjusting pricing to customers earlier than later could make a big difference in your bottom line.

2. Leaders need to know when to hire and hire right.

Bill Gates saw there would be challenges with hiring and retaining employees. He was quoted as stating that employers offering flexibility early on would win. In a post-covid era where so many employees were reluctant to return to regular hours and leave their remote working environment, we see these predictions become a reality. Millennials are right up there, preferring to work remotely all or most of the time, avoiding a commute to and from work. Studies show that employees are happier and more productive in more flexible organizations.

3. Everyone can benefit from a good mentor. Even the best mentors have a mentor!

Warren Buffet comes to mind when we think of the best of the best. While so many look up to him, it is hard to imagine that he also had a mentor. Warren Buffet began selling items as a child to other children. When he was enrolled at Columbia University, he met his mentor, a gentleman by the name of Ben Graham. Ben Graham had taught Warren a few things about investing. Ben invested time in Warren, making him the success he is today. It is important to note that Warren invested time in Bill Gates.

There is a lesson to learn: not only should we all seek and accept a mentor, but we should also invest in helping others, even if it is time-consuming. A simple text here in there to others could make that entrepreneur learning new skills turn into the following legend that could disrupt our lives for the better someday!

4. Breathe. In all seriousness, we must stop, relax, and rejuvenate as leaders to be our best for our employees and customers.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook reports that she leaves the office by 5:30 PM. She proves you don’t have to work many hours to be effective. What time she arrives is not reported. Nor is it reported if she logs in from home after dinner or before bed. Whether she adds in extra time in other areas is not relevant. The point is she is exiting the building and at home in time for the dinner hour. This allows her to achieve work-life balance. Work-life balance is critical to ensure that she enjoys life and can return to the office without being too overworked.

It may be challenging to compare a small business or a start-up with these more giant corporations that are offering corporate benefits that are unattainable for a small business, such as months of paid paternity leave.

While small business likely is unable to match anything of this magnitude, the takeaway can be that perhaps to be competitive; a small business may want to consider offering some flexibility in schedules during a time like this in an employee’s life in which a significant life altering event is occurring to retain talent.

Additionally, these leaders had to grow and learn as they gained experience and grew their employee base and wealth. Hard work, grit, and determination are something that all business leaders share, whether they are a business of one employee or one hundred thousand employees. They have made mistakes like we all have and have grown from them. When we take a moment to look at what other leaders are doing, we all have the opportunity to learn something new to grow our organization and grow ourselves as leaders in the community where we live, play, and work.

PaySmart is a payroll provider located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, supporting small businesses in the Central PA region. PaySmart is dedicated to helping small businesses take care of their payroll needs. To learn more about how PaySmart may provide payroll solutions, please get in touch with us at 717-766-1777. Our New Client Concierge is waiting for you!