Good help is often hard to find, but finding a great manager for your small business is even harder. With so many qualified candidates, it can be difficult to see who shares your passion for your business and whose vision of it aligns with yours.
Poor management can be detrimental to a business. The quality of service or product may suffer and employee morale may also take a dive. When employees aren’t happy with management, they do not do their job as well, and they may begin seeking employment elsewhere.
So what makes a great manager in a small business? What characteristics should they have? Here are the top characteristics that the perfect manager for your small business should have.
A great small business owner is also a strong leader, one that other employees look up to and have confidence in. These managers show that they are self-assured and enthusiastic about their work, and they know how to handle their emotions.
Self-assured leaders handle mistakes and failures in stride. If your business fails to meet a quota for the month, your manager should look for what went wrong and how to do better the next month. They are not stuck on the failures and what certain employees did or didn’t do. Your manager should look forward and use failures as a learning experience.
Enthusiastic managers care about their work and want to do a great job. They take pride in what they do, and they want to create a great experience for all customers.
The best leaders also display emotional stability. Your business may go through some stressful times. There may be long hours and meetings that go on well past quitting time, but your manager should remain strong. It is important that they do not let these stressors and frustrations become overwhelming. Overly emotional managers sometimes take their frustrations out on others or they become so distracted by the stress that their job performance suffers.
It’s great to have a small business manager who takes direction well and does a great job, but how self-motivated is this person? Do they aggressively go after leads or suggest new opportunities for your business?
Even though you want someone who shares your business sense, the point of having a manager is so that you do not have to physically be at your business at every hour of the day. You shouldn’t have to hold this person’s hand through every task that you give them, and the manager should be able to keep business running as usual even when you are out.
Having someone who can think outside the box and motivate themselves is a great asset to any company. You need someone who can act without you directly telling them to, and your business will benefit from a new perspective. Perhaps your manager will see a new opportunity for expansion that you never considered, or maybe they will expand on an idea you already have.
Communication is the backbone of your business. Your manager will need to be able to instruct employees on how to complete tasks and be able to answer questions as they come up, and they will need to be able to report effectively to you, other managers and clients. They will need effective verbal and digital communication skills as well as much of their communication may happen either over the phone or via email.
Your small business manager is responsible for communicating workflow instructions as well as delegating tasks to the employees that report to them. If your manager is a poor communicator, projects may get messed up and customers might go to your competition. If your manager is a poor communicator, projects may get messed up and customers might go to your competition.
Listening is also an important part of good communication, and those who don’t listen well are doomed to repeat past mistakes. Your manager needs to be able to stop and listen to employees when they have trouble with their work and be able to help them get back on track. When employees are quarreling, managers need to know how to listen to both sides and help employees come to an agreement or understanding.
Having great listening skills is also vital when dealing with clients and customers, who come to the table with their own ideas. Your manager needs to be able to listen to what the client or customer wants and then able to effectively communicate back what your company can do to meet your client’s needs.
Your small business is like your child. You’ve built it from the ground up and poured your heart and soul into it. You’re trusting your manager to carry your passion and help your business grow even further.
Ask yourself if you feel comfortable letting this person run your business in your absence. If you should be in an accident and have to stay in a hospital for an extended period of time, do you trust your manager to keep your business afloat?
You must also be able to trust your small business manager to handle employees well. Will they make smart decisions and keep morale up in your absence?
Many small business owners consider this to be one of the least important qualities of a perfect small business manager, but as you see just how chaotic business can be, you will appreciate an organised manager at the helm of your business.
Organisation goes far beyond a neat office or desk. Organised managers keep a watchful eye on all aspects of your business to ensure that everything is working as it should. This is an easy way to avoid those stressful situations, and if your manager is organised enough, chances are you will face fewer and fewer of these stressing moments.
Customer satisfaction tends to go up with more organised managers as well. Because the business is running so smoothly, customers are more likely to be satisfied with products and services, and if there is a problem, it is dealt with effectively and efficiently.
The best small business managers will be a blend of all these great characteristics. What other characteristics do you look for in a manager? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.