Starting a small business can be challenging, and when you’re past the startup phase, you may think that things are about to get easier. However, as your business continues to grow and expand, you’re faced with new challenges. As a business owner or someone in a leadership position within a company, you’ll have to learn new managerial skills if you want to keep your business going.
When a business grows, it becomes impossible for one person to know all the members of the team or all the customers. Here are some changes you might have to consider making:
Direct to Indirect Management Style
As mentioned earlier, you’re not going to be able to keep in touch with all your employees or team members as your business grows. Your staff will probably be divided into departments, and each department will have a department head. If your business has gone past medium-sized, then it’s possible that the departments will also have sub-departments with their own heads.
This type of structure helps to keep everything organized within a business. But it’s not very conducive to personal contact. And the sheer number of employees also makes it impossible for someone at the top to have a personal relationship with everyone.
If you’re the business owner, you’re mostly going to communicate with department heads who will communicate what you say to their teams. As a result, you might end up feeling a bit disconnected. But you can make sure that you keep asking your department heads for regular reports so that you know that things are going the way you planned. You can also maintain an “open door” policy so that any and all employees will feel free to come to you with problems or suggestions.
People Will Treat You Differently
When you start a company with just a few people, you’re going to be on a friendly basis with everyone. They’re hardly going to see you as their boss; instead, they’ll think of you as a coworker or a partner.
This is going to change as your business grows. Once you’re the owner of a medium or a large-sized business, people might not feel as free to talk to you as they once did because they don’t want to look as if they’re complaining to their superiors. One frown from you may be interpreted as disapproval, and your criticism will be taken much more seriously.
It helps if you make a deliberate effort to be more approachable and make it clear to employees that you’re looking forward to their input. You can do this via email or by inviting questions and suggestions at meetings.
Nurturing People in Your Company
When you’re running a medium or large-sized company, you’re going to have to rely more and more on your department heads. And this means that you have to choose the people to head up your departments with care. You also have to develop relationships with them.
If your department heads are people that you started the company with, then you already have a close bond. But if you hired them along the way, then it’s necessary for them to be able to see that you trust them to do what’s necessary. And they also have to feel valued by you, which might mean paying them well and giving them good benefits. It might also mean giving them more freedom to pursue their ideas and respecting their professional opinions.