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Management Advice: 33 Coaching Habits to Build your Business (No Matter How Small)

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Management advice to take you from business zero to hero

Updated Sept 22, 2022

The road to successful business management is a bumpy one. Business will be up and down, especially when you are first starting out. Believe in yourself and don’t get discouraged when things don’t go well.

When making decisions review all the options. There are many success stories of business owners taking wild chances and succeeding, but those are the exception and not the rule. This is no time to be flying by the seat of your pants.

Sound daunting? Don’t worry. Here are some key tips for success in business management. Working with a business coach or small business coach can also shorten your learning curve and help you go from zero to hero when it comes to business management.

Cultivate the traits of top managers

  • Drive and determination— You need to have an almost fanatical desire to achieve. It only stands to reason that people who are driven and motivated tend to accomplish more than “normal” human beings. This asset isn’t necessary but it sure does help, and at worst, can’t hurt. The drive to succeed also tends to keep your interest peaked for a much longer period of time, avoiding early burnout.
  • Passion– Your business and its success should be a consuming force within. Have a vision and believe in it.
  • Commitment– Commitment pays dividends, persistence is paramount. But be aware that the market is changing constantly; you must keep abreast of the trends in your field and apply them to your business venture.
  • Goal-orientedDon’t make your goals too daunting, especially at first. Simple steps like “I will serve my first ten customers” or “I will make my first $100” are easily obtainable and will blow a little sunshine up your skirt at the end of the day giving you the confidence to go on to newer, somewhat loftier goals.
  • Problem Solving– When problems arise, and they will, it is critical that you and your team address them post haste. Ignoring them is imprudent; they will not take care of themselves. In fact, it will only erode what you have worked so hard to achieve thus far in your business venture.
  • Competitiveness– You really need to have a burning desire to do better than the other guy. To outsell, outperform, and in general outdo the opposition. Trust me, they feel the same way about you and they are going to cut you no quarter. Don’t be content to rest on your laurels once you’ve clawed your way to the top. Have the foresight to anticipate trends before the competition does, or better yet create your own trends.
  • Responsibility– Don’t do things in a haphazard manner. Involve your team when decisions need to be made. Discuss them, weigh your options, settle on the best course of action and implement your plan.
  • Opportunism– Seize opportunities when they arise. Have the courage to take advantage of the breaks that come your way and generate the ability to adapt to situations that present themselves.


Create systems and processes for effective management

Choose your team wisely

For all but the smallest businesses, effective management is best handled by a team. The size of that team is determined by the magnitude of the company and skill level of the founders. Members of teams have much less responsibility than in a one-person operation. This allows them to focus on specific aspects of management permitting them to dedicate more time to research the best option.

Always look back... to make sure your competitors aren't gaining

Plan ahead. Be constantly anticipating your customers and your competitors. As you start climbing your way to the top, develop a vision of the future of your company and the products and services it can, and will, provide. Always stay one step ahead of your rivals. Measure up to the business competition and to your own potential, carefully weighing the strength of your business, sales and marketing team, customer service, and management.

Take advantage of what is out there

Take advantage of local resources. Most semi-major communities have a coalition of local businesspeople who are more than happy to share their knowledge with you. Seek them out. Not only do they know the business in general but they also know local practices and trends. Look into your regional Small Business Administration and see what they have to offer. The SBA is one of the single largest repositories of information available to those new to management.

Stay focused and organized

An astonishing amount of time and revenue is lost every day due to a lack of organization. Time spent either looking for things that are not where they are supposed to be or wasted in some other manner is crippling to a business if left unchecked.

Keep on top of your finances

Do you have the time, do you have the patience, and are you smart enough to cope with the task of your company’s financial management, or will you need to hire someone for this responsibility? For instance, getting organized will help you stay on top of tax-deductible expenses as a business. Good business accountants are out there and it is often well worth it to employ one.

Stay up to date

Keeping on top of current trends and practices is critical to any business’s success. By exercising good management skills you can efficiently and effectively guide any business venture on a productive and profitable course. Consult with a business coach to keep you motivated and on top of your game.

Don't sweat the small stuff

A few words about positive attitude: it is essential if you are to be successful in business. Naysayers and cynics rarely profit in the business world.

Learn from your mistakes

Learning from mistakes is part of any maturing process and managing people, products and information is no exception. Experience will allow you to make more productive choices.

Get your marketing nailed down

Make sure you have a good marketing manager who knows the ropes about local visibility in Google, webinars, and outreach

Look for ways to scale

Always be implementing strategies to help you scale as you grow. Standard operating procedures should be written for tasks that you can then delegate more easily. Take the burden off yourself by managing others. This leads to....

Manage others effectively

Keys to being a better manager

Decide on your management style.

Are you going to rule with total power and control or are you going to be democratic about it, taking in others’ opinions along the way? There are pros and cons for every management style and it needs to be established before just about anything else.

Use the “balanced scorecard” system for performance assessment.

The Balanced Scorecard system shows how you are managing in four major areas of importance: learning and growth, customer relations, and financial and business processes (Oliveira (2001), The Balanced Scorecard: An Integrative Approach to Performance Evaluation Healthcare Financial Management 55:5). A balanced scorecard is a tool used in strategic management that measures performance against many different dimensions. It takes into account historical performance metrics and gives businesses useful advice for improving their future decision-making. This scorecard is an excellent indicator of performance management.

It helps if you are a good communicator and you like people.

Bill Gates himself has said that it is difficult to manage people if you do not interact well with others. Be aware of your employees’ feedback and act accordingly.

Create an atmosphere conducive to success

Build morale by instilling a sense of worth in your employees as well as the importance of their job. Recognize excellence when the opportunity presents itself. Make sure to nail the praise to criticism ratio. Although both praise and feedback are important, research shows praise should outweigh criticism to get the best out of your team (Losada & Heaphy (2004), "The Role of Positivity and Connectivity in the Performance of Business Teams: A Nonlinear Dynamics Model" America Behavioral Scientist). The teams that scored the highest in satisfaction and performance issued 5.6 times as many words of praise as of criticism.

Praise to Criticism ratio

Trust your employees

Research shows that when workers believe their supervisors have their backs, they are more committed to their jobs and experience greater job satisfaction. Therefore, establishing trust should be a top priority. (Lester & Brower (2003) In the Eyes of the Beholder: The Relationship Between Subordinates' Felt Trustworthiness and their Work Attitudes and Behaviors, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies).

Be accessible

Don’t be afraid to take on tasks yourself. Not only will this keep you abreast of trends, but it will also show that you are not a “do as I say, not as I do” boss.

Transfer your enthusiasm to others to become a master motivator

Get others as excited about your product or service as you are. Convey a positive attitude to others. It will rub off and cause good things to happen.

Delegate wisely

Delegating tasks shows workers that you have faith in their abilities and respect their opinions, both of which boost morale. As an employer, you have a responsibility to provide your staff members with many opportunities for personal and professional growth. Do not forget that you will share responsibility for the team's failure. You'll also be able to grow faster the more you can offload tasks and create systems.

Be a Better Manager by being a Servant Leader

Inc. published a recent article about the benefits of "servant leadership." This leadership philosophy promotes uplifting employees by joyfully helping them achieve their goals. Your workers' successes are your own and those of the organization. By focusing attention away from what you think you need as a manager, and on what your employees need (technology, coaching, meetings, etc), you make it possible for them to soar.

Continually look for ways to become a better manager

Study different styles and methods. As much as possible, adapt the good points of each and incorporate them into your own managerial style. Gallup shows that managers are the number one reason workers stay engaged or not. Dr. Barry Schwarz agrees: “Meaning and purpose embodied in day-to-day activities are key to employee appreciation.”

New manager? Stay on top of your game after a promotion'

Tips for new managers

Looking the part is just one aspect of learning how to be a successful manager.

Hire an executive coach

Getting a promotion into management is an exciting time for many employees, but this new role can also be a bit scary. Many new managers could benefit greatly from executive coaching, as this transition can be stressful and many people have trouble adapting to a supervisory role. Even existing managers can often benefit from executive coaching and management tips to become a better, more natural leader, and this is what the following tips for new managers are designed to give you.

Remember that actions speak louder than words

Of all the tips for new managers, this is one of the most helpful. You surely got promoted to your new role because you were a fantastic employee; you acted in a way that made your supervisors take notice. As a manager, you should continue this model behavior because your subordinates will be more likely to follow your actions than follow your words. Respect the rules that you set to motivate workers and command more respect.

Don't mess with a good thing

Many supervisors like to micromanage and control all aspects of what they oversee, but trying to put your hands on everything could cause more harm than good. A Harvard Business School study found that, far from being a temporary nuisance or an undesirable but unavoidable evil, micromanagement "stifles creativity and productivity in the long term." Intervene when there is a problem, but when things are going well, you should leave things be. Of course, you should supervise; if you see things that could be done better or that don’t seem right, then step in.

Ask for help

You are a new manager; no one expects you to know everything. There are plenty of people around you that you can use as a resource. First and foremost, you should look to your team and other subordinates for help when you have questions. After that, when you need help, you should ask your peers. Of course, you can also go directly to your boss, but don’t waste his or her time with all of your queries; only go to your supervisor with your most urgent questions.

Get to know your subordinates

People are important and need to be treated respectfully, and a great way to do this is to get to know them better. You should find out as much as you can about those who will be reporting to you. You can do this by talking to them, of course, but you can also check personnel files and even scope them out on social networking sites like LinkedIn. With this information, you can learn how to better supervise and motivate these different individuals, and you will also gain their trust and respect if they know you are taking interest in them.

And more...

These tips for new managers are just a few things you can try to become a better leader in your new role. Even if you are not new in your management position, these management tips can serve as good reminders of how to continue to be better and better at what you do. In addition to tips like these, managers of all experience could well benefit from executive coaching, as it can help to uncover management tips, strategies, and solutions that can help any manager further excel at what they do.

What now?

These 33 habits are by no means a comprehensive list of business management tips, traits, and techniques. But with these guidelines as a starting point and a business coach at your side, it is possible to build your management skills with ongoing effort. Admittedly, it takes more than a small amount of planning, drive, and determination, but in the end, you possess everything you need to succeed in any business venture you undertake. 


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