Often times people ask how I got to where I am in my business and what my keys to success are. I co-own a small boutique PR and event marketing firm with my business partner, Kassie Edwards. We’ve been in business almost two years have have been able to do what we love, what we’re good at, and make enough money doing it. Kassie and I lucked out and although we have very different skill sets, we have exactly the same values and beliefs. We are a small company of two employees, one intern and several contractors we use on a regular basis. We’ve managed hundreds of sales agents for different needs for brand clients which is where we both received our extensive experience is managing others.
As small business owners, we both believe that the relationships you have with your employees and contractors are very, very important. We believe that people should be empowered, and we strive to manage our company relationships with great care. Unfortunately, many of these lessons we learned the hard way in one way or another. But we never gave up, worked hard, and finally we are in a place that we are happy to be in.
There are some basic rules of management that we follow. These might now work for you, but they worked well for us.
Rule #1 in managing anything: To be successful, if you have a deficit in your own skill-set, you must surround yourself with people who can cover for your shortcomings. Select business partners who have a different skill set than your own. Identify your own shortcomings and seek to make up for them by hiring someone who is strong in that skill-set. Sometimes people are afraid of bringing other highly successful people into their business, and this thinking is flawed. The best leaders and most profitable business owners find a way to bring people as competent or better than themselves into their dealings.
Rule #2: When you make mistakes never blame someone below you and throw them under the bus. You’ll alienate your employee or contractor and infuriate them. This kind of management is toxic for business. Avoid it at all costs. Trust me, I have seen it in action and you’ll only hurt yourself in the end.
Rule #3: Successful people already know and practice Rule #2. People will appreciate your honesty and admitting your shortcomings or mistakes will get you further in the end than constantly placing blame on others. Clients, contractors, vendors… they all see right through finger pointing and it only makes you look unprofessional at best.
Rule #4: Never ever ask your employees or contractors to do something you wouldn’t do. Lead by example. Work with them instead of delegating at them whenever possible.
Your reputation as a small business owner is critical. If you mind these three simple rules you’ll already be ahead in protecting your reputation.
Have a comment on what you think are important skills in management in order to be successful in business? I would love to hear your input. Leave a comment below.