Being a business owner for the past 12 years has taught me many lessons about what I have done well and what I could have done differently as a Leader.

Surviving the recession in 2008/09 and raising five children certainly had its chaotic moments …however having my eye on the prize and knowing that I am equipped for greatness is what has kept me going…even if it was at a snail pace.

Over these years I have kept my overheads low and typically contracted my work out to minimise exposing myself to prematurely mortgaging my revenue by having too many employees. I have employed over 8 staff over the years but have never had a team more than 3 at any given time. For myself I found having employees very draining …both financially and emotionally.

It is such a risky business when you take that step in employing staff …you need to have confidence in yourself and business …and you also need to calculate the longevity of sustaining their wages over time. Definitely a scary step if you haven’t ever done it before or if hasn’t worked out well for you in the past.

Whether I had employees …or it was just me in the business… I made a point of having ‘rules of conduct’ and ‘leadership strategies’ in place to ensure I was leading my business into a positive direction.

For the most part, I often made mistakes and definitely learnt some lessons the hard way. This certainly repelled me from ever wanting a large number of employees …admittedly, I realised that I needed some maturing to do in order to handle the struggles, battles and obstacles that you face as an employer.

Now that I am entering the next growth faze for INfuzed I realise that I need to GET serious about how I lead my business, who I align with and whom I will employ/contract.

Just doing things how I always have done them…isn’t sufficient enough anymore. Next level growth requires change…allows for improvements and plans for the future without creating limitations.

I believe a successful business is no longer defined just by the profitability or bank balance. It is defined by how it is perceived by others, how the staff are being treated, your own fulfilment/ happiness in your business and personal life. Telling others what to do to suit your bank balance just isn’t enough anymore.

I have seen many Business Owners ill equipped to manage or lead their staff and their business effectively… which has caused all sorts of internal issues. They struggle with transitioning from their technical expertise (that was the reason for launching their business in the first place) to leading in an empowering and supportive way.

I would definitely place myself in this category a few years ago. It wasn’t fun and I was always left feeling unfulfilled and going home with a sense of non-achievement – like I missed that one important task out.

That one important task that we must not leave out is continue to be empathetic, listen, support and be available to staff. As a leader we need to allow ourselves to be removed from the ‘tool’ and take the time to encourage, empower and support our staff. At times, I found this frustrating as being off the ‘tools’ meant less productivity …and less productivity meant less revenue…and then less profit – which is why we are in business in the first place.

Definitely felt like a ‘catch 22’ situation.

But no, it doesn’t have to be.

More staff, means opportunity for more growth… and more growth needs to ultimately lead to less work and more freedom. Just make sure you have the right staff members. If you don’t – reassess your options and work towards a solution that fits. People will work hard if they love what they do!

If you are now thinking, but I’m not a great leader – I don’t know how to engage my staff ….

Well, you do have two options…

  1. Find someone who can lead your staff for you OR
  2. Get training…develop the skills you need to LEAD your team to success.

YES! You are right… there is no one better at your business than you…however… you can find someone to work the ‘tools’ to FREE you up to LEAD the business when its needed.

Of course, there are stages to go through …however if you choose NOW to invest YOUR time into your leadership training and YOUR staff…the rewards will come! KEEP at it and find the right support to keep you on track.

A great leader first begins by being a great follower…choose to be the kind of leader that your staff are inspired to follow daily!

If you have enjoyed reading this blog and feel you need additional support in your business …check out your local INfuzed Business Group. We meet in a relaxed setting and our members are committed to seeing you succeed. Email info@infuzed.nz to find out more.

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