There are a few extremely important functions that an entrepreneur must perform in order to have a successful small business. Obviously not all businesses are the same, just as not all entrepreneurs are the same. Some entrepreneurs are required to perform many more functions than are others. The two most important factors that determine what roles the business leader must take on are type of the business and size of the business. After researching and interviewing two entrepreneurs, I found that the most vital function that he or she must carry out is leading.
(Johnson) This entails positively motivating and influencing the individuals and/or groups of the organization. (Functions) It involves setting a respectable example for employees, suppliers, and customers. A good leader must ensure that there is a positive and safe working environment for his employees. A good business leader must demonstrate that their product or service is of quality. A good business leader must strive to have a successful business not only for themselves but for all of the organizations stakeholders. A good business leader must represent the organization in a professional manner.
The only path to achieve these goals, demands that a good business leader must make good decisions. Two key aspects of entrepreneurial leadership are decision making and problem solving. The two go hand in hand, and lack of good judgment could easily be detrimental to any business. (Damron) Good decision making involves selecting the better course of action between two or more alternatives. Certain decision making techniques allow you to choose the best choice based on the information you have available. (Functions) Some keys that a good business owner should always keep in mind when making a decision are:
Think of the options that are available. Focus on the possible effects of each option. Weigh the possible outcomes. Then make the decision that yields the most good for the greatest number of people. With these keys an entrepreneur should be able to map out the likely consequences of decisions, work out the importance of individual factors and choose the best course of action to take. (Mindtools) By using good problem solving skills it enhances the probability of reaching a proper decision. There are many good problem solving techniques. One technique that many business leaders use known as IDEA.
The first of these steps is to identify the problem. Often times realizing the true problem can be much more difficult than the actual solution. The next step is to develop some solutions that could possibly rectify the situation. Then by using the decision making techniques, establish the best solution. After choosing the best course of action, implement an action plan. (Bridges) By taking advantage of good problem solving and decision making techniques it will allow an entrepreneur to effectively carryout most of the duties that are required to be a good business leader.
In order to be a good business leader, an entrepreneur must have good communication skills. This will allow he or she to effectively convey the organization’s viewpoints, thoughts, and goals with others. It is important to practice good communication skills not only the employees, but also to customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. People who have good communication skills, relay ideas well in person and in writing. (Sherblom) They are willing to ask questions to gain useful information or insight that may be beneficial to the organization.
They share information well, and contribute ideas in a positive manner. They also provide constructive feedback when employees make mistakes. (Alis) Some keys to good leadership communication skills are: Watch your language. Sometimes people may use jargon that not all listeners would understand. Many times business leaders use metaphors to try and create a common thought or feeling. Often times these metaphors come from sports terms such as “lets hit a home run with this”, or of a violent nature such as “lets kill the competition.
” These metaphores are used to motivate employees to get the job done better than the competitors, but it is most important that everyone fosters a shared understanding. The second key to good leadership communication is to follow through with what the organization has promised. Failure to follow through could easily allow growing cynicism in the workplace. If the organization makes a promise, it should follow through with action, even if the action ends up being an explanation of why the promise can’t be kept. Thirdly, deal with uncertainty.
An entreprenuer should talk about failure, adjustments to the business strategy, or problems that the organization must work through. This will demonstrate to all employees that not everything goes exactly as planned, but it is not going to be detrimental to the organization. The fourth key to good business communication is to be an active listener. Good listening is an art that is not always easy to master. A good communicater concentrates on the speaker’s message, resists distractions, and doesn’t tune out if they disagree.
It is important to make certain that the message is understood correctly. The fifth key to good leadership communication is to connect personally with employees. Create opportunities for all employees to have contact with the entreprenuer or other ranking business officials. Face-to-face interaction makes employees feel that their voice is being heard. This will invite participation between the differnet levels of employees. Many succesful businesses have found that bottom/up information flow is just as important as top/down information flow.