Financial Data
Updated 21 May 2019

Becoming a successful business owner

Running your own business comes with many challenges, but having certain steps in place, particularly when starting out, means a greater chance of success. 

Rob Green, 29 August 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

Successfully running a business, whether global or local, requires more than simply knowing your market although this is, of course, vital too. Most importantly, it takes experience in knowing what works and what doesn’t and making sure that the same mistakes are not repeated. However, listening to those who have succeeded or are certainly on their way to success can help prevent too many mistakes and ensure that your business stands a chance of succeeding.

Surround yourself with first class professionals 

It is imperative that you surround yourself with a team of first class professionals. The people that you work with and that you can rely on are absolutely key to your success. As per Jack Welch’s school of hiring, surround yourself with people that are better than you if you really want your business to flourish. And be prepared to delegate. 

Related: Start-up business opportunities in South Africa

Having a streamlined, not overly staffed back office and effective administration support is essential. Competent staff will do all that is needed and having a CFO, Office Manager, Marketing, and PA that can be relied on means the business can initially remain small in size (which helps the bottom line) while giving the firm the ability to be able to react quickly during any tough situations.

Communication and management skills are also important.  Many struggle when trying to grow a business as they are unsure of how to communicate messages clearly which leads to delays and potentially poor output and delivery – this would hamper the development of any firm.

Tips for better management 

Often, running a company involves dealing with a lot of very strong characters and even different nationalities, and therefore requires absolute clarity of strategy and a clear direction. The simpler the messages and strategy, the more buy-in happens. 

Transparency is a word that should always be used as a guide. Involving staff in all processes, including how the company is doing financially, where money is being spent, and in what areas it is growing, leads to buy-in as everyone is aware of exactly what the firm stands for and its future direction. 

To increase engagement with staff, it is vital that training is constantly considered which aids improvement on all levels. A large part of your budget should be used for this as the importance of skills and development cannot be underestimated.

Finally, staff needs to feel that they are part of a growing, progressive firm so ensure you are open about strategy, share your mission and vision and they will be committed to doing their best to ensure they stay on this exciting career path.

Manage a highly engaged team 

If your business environment allows, such as we have in the recruitment industry, a competitive commission scheme encourages key earners to excel as even if it means the business owners take less profit, it is important that they are looked after. However, even in a normal salaried business, too many owners care more about their own dividends which is a mistake. If hardworking, committed people feel they are not getting a fair share, they will leave. 

Related: Why cutting staff might just cost you more

Spending time with staff, making sure their personal goals are understood and their career paths acknowledged, creates loyalty. Grow your business around their career wants, helping them develop which will in turn help them excel, resulting in your business excelling too.

Anything that helps managers be better managers gets better results

Clearly success is about transparency and honesty – even if it includes negative feedback. Employees need to know where they are, where they are going and what is happening around them. If treated like adults, they will return with loyalty and engagement which will only serve to make a success of your firm.

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About the author

Rob Green

Rob Green is the CEO of GRM Search and has been in senior level executive search for nearly 15 years. He has lived and recruited on 5 continents (most recently Asia and now Africa). His focus has been on hiring C-Suite management and Partners of Law firms, as well as team moves, team structure solutions, and strategic staffing advisory services. GRM Search has offices in Asia and Africa and Rob splits his time between Cape Town and Hong Kong. Rob is also the co-founder of the IP platform by Interprovise, a predictive data analysis and modeling algorithm, to be launched in December to a global audience. IP is a pioneering platform that brings a machine learning solution to all facets of team collaboration, benchmarking, hiring, business strategy and solutions to inefficiencies.

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