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Five Management Blunders That New Business Owners Need To Avoid

Thanks to Juliet Martin, who has submitted today’s blog on behalf of Regus.

When you start your own business it can often be a one or two man operation, but as you grow you will probably need to bring new staff on board. However, some business owners haven't worked as managers before, and can find it daunting to have to direct and discipline people on a day to day basis. After all, people are unpredictable, and you can't prepare for every single situation; often you are stuck relying on your common sense. However, by avoiding some of these common mistakes you can be sure that you keep the respect of those who work for you, as well as avoiding legal troubles down the line.


Meeting with the manager / Avoid becoming a bad manager!

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1. Bad communication

When you are in the early days of starting a business you will no doubt be busy, and this means you may not have time to offer comprehensive training or provide proper feedback. However, lack of communication is a major complaint amongst employees, and simply leaving people to get on with their jobs can cause all sorts of issues. By scheduling something as simple as a 15 minute one-to-one session on a weekly basis you can:

  • Identify issues that are slowing productivity
  • Keep employees motivated
  • Discuss their ideas and aspirations
  • Discuss concerns on either side
  • Build a better relationship

For a small business, this can be invaluable and means that staff can feel so much more appreciated in their workplace. You should also make sure that employees aren't afraid to approach you by being responsive to e-mails and chats even if you are swamped with work.

2. Lack of vision or objectives

There's nothing worse than dealing with a boss who lacks a clear ambition, and employees need to know that they are working towards something on a daily basis. If an employee doesn't have a clear path then they can find themselves drifting rather than developing their career, and this is bad for productivity. When you train someone or ask them to take on a new responsibility then make sure they know why they are doing something, as well as how to do it, and this will make it easier for them to share the vision with you.

3. Lack of ambition

If you find the company has an unclear direction, then this can also be caused by lack of ambition which can keep things stagnant. If you feel that things have slowed down recently then looking for a new serviced office, making suggestions for a new product, or getting people together to discuss potential ideas can help to get people motivated again.

4. Not delegating enough

Having your own business can be a little like having a baby; you become very protective, find it hard to trust others with your newborn, and can end up trying to do everything yourself. You'll find that nearly a third of managers admit they can't delegate, however, by learning to do so they can focus on doing their own job to the highest possible standard and save themselves a lot of stress.

The process begins when you're writing a job description. Think about the daily tasks that need doing, but perhaps get in the way of more important things. You can then discuss these jobs at the interview stage, and finalise them during training so that you know what your employees do and what they are capable of.

5. Micromanagement

It's great to know what your employees are doing and how they spend their day, but micromanaging every aspect of work life is just going to cause you stress and lead to employee resentment. It has the effect of making employees feel like you don't trust them, and can ruin their confidence which can lead to worse performance.

There are lots of examples of ways bosses micromanage, and common ones can include:

    • Asking for overly detailed reports, time sheets, or statistics
    • Not allowing employees to use their own judgement
    • Concentrating on small details rather than the big picture
    • Sending constant e-mails or hovering around employees asking for updates

These are all major annoyances to any employee who wants to be treated as an adult. The best thing to do is to set a deadline and make clear what you want done, but then checking in at pre-determined steps along the way. For example, once an employee has completed their research or finished a first draft would be a good time to review their work.

Being the boss is never easy, and when it's your own business it's common to feel a certain attachment to it. However, by avoiding the common things that employees hate you can build a much more trusting, easy going relationship that helps keep your office productive and helps you hold on to talented staff.

Regus was established in 1989. It is the largest global provider of flexible workspaces and business solutions. www.regus.co.uk

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