13 Lessons for a Small Business Owner

To lead is to measurably help others succeed. Are you looking to move into a management position? Or perhaps you are currently a new manager looking to build your skill base. Skills and lessons to practice and learn for a future small business owner should be a priority, yes?


Related post: Building Collaboration and Sharing Skills in your Staff


While there is always the argument about the differences between management and leadership, management, leadership and teamwork go hand in hand, don’t they? So to build a strong team you need to be the type of manager that will measurably help others succeed, don’t you think? Future business managers certainly need to grasp this fact and understand the concepts of the best management and leadership qualities and attributes don’t they? Spot on.


I have been in management and leadership positions in the military and business world for forty years and I often get asked what the best lessons for future business managers I have found. Surprisingly (or not) my list of lessons probably have varied to a degree, depending on when in my career it was constructed.


The list of lessons is based on real world experiences as well as managers and leaders I studied (including many bosses). For example, Dwight Eisenhower was only one of many I studied over those many years.

Before we continue, let me ask you a question. 

What works best for the leadership success of your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? Be the one who starts a conversation.

With the advent of the Internet, the number of marketing options available to both budding and experienced entrepreneurs has become staggering.


Being such a business manager is a lifelong learning process. You are never done learning and renewing lessons you have learned. Every great manager always looks for ways to improve their ability to improve their leadership qualities and attributes.



If you read 10 books on business management, you could easily build a checklist of 50 or more management lessons for future business managers. But more is not necessarily better for the best lessons to study and apply.


The following lessons represent my favorite lessons on business management that I believe could make the biggest impact. If I was starting my career over and could take 13 leadership lessons back in time with me, these are the ones I would choose:


continuous learning
Provide continuous learning.

 Create an environment of continuous learning

It is absolutely necessary that business managers be good learners. They need to instill this in all their team. They must learn from their mistakes. To be most successful, managers must acknowledge, understand, and improve on their shortcomings. And they must encourage their team to also focus on continuous learning.



Small business owner … be a multiplier

Multiplier business managers know that at the apex of the intelligence hierarchy is NOT the lone genius. Rather, it is the genius who knows the importance of bringing out the smarts and capabilities in everyone in the team.


Build connections

Both managers and leaders know their job with their teams is about building lots of connections. They make people feel they have a stake in common problems.


encourage feedback
Always encourage feedback.

Small business owner ideas … encourage feedback

It is vital that you let your team know you are interested and will listen to their concerns and ideas and contribute to solutions to any and all problems.


Offer recognition and always share success

Focus on building team confidence by publicly recognizing their efforts and achievements. Think of it this way; anything is possible if you share the glory. Giving others a chance to claim credit is an easy, and effective, way to magnify results.


Communicate clearly and often

Language is a manager’s most powerful tool, whether it is written or oral. Always keep your people informed of team goals, priorities, and schedules. Without the ability to communicate, managers can possess all the other attributes and still fail to have an impact.


Be decisive

One of the key jobs of a manager is to be an effective decision maker. Employees are never comfortable with managers who make slow decisions and the frequently change their minds. Quality managers make decisions quickly and stick with them.


Provide sound guidance

Be available with your staff members and show interest in their career development within the business. Don’t hesitate to offer guidance along the way.


Building and maintaining trust

Always do what you say and set good examples. Demand from yourself the same level of professionalism and dedication that you expect from others. Trust, once broken, is seldom restored to its original state. It is the most fragile yet essential attribute of leadership and management.


Present the big picture

Consistently show the team how their projects fit into the larger goals and objectives of the business. You can never be too detailed on communicating the big picture.


Be patient but persistent

Delivering strong managerial skills takes time and practice. Seek guidance from mentors, colleagues, your boss, and your network.


Deliver confidence

Having and being able to deliver confidence counts. Most managers are self-confident. The real skill and ability is to extend faith to others. They must be good at recognizing and believing in the talents of others.

Working teamwork: Small Company … 20 Struggles that Are Easily Understood


Accept learning is never done

You have worked hard to get to this point. Rely on your experience but accept there is still much to learn. Learn from everywhere you can, including your own team


Key takeaways


The moral of this story is that the best leadership lessons should have a great influence on team development and teamwork. If these different thoughts are possessed by your current management or leadership team, or your emerging leaders, you will be in a good position for the road ahead.




Which of these leadership lessons stand out to you as the most critical? Do you have any other thoughts of effective leaders worthy of mention? Leave a comment and share your insights with us and other readers. We would be most interested in your thoughts.


Need some help in capturing more improvements for your staff’s leadership, teamwork and collaboration? Creative ideas in running or facilitating a team or leadership workshop?


Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.

Call Mike at 607-725-8240.


All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.


When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.


Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.


Are you devoting enough energy innovating your social media strategyg?


Do you have a lesson about making your advertising better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?


Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn.  


Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.


More reading on small business from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:

Business Partnership …13 Insightful Examples of Partnership Ideas

Is Your Small Business Coping With Technological Change?

Most Frequent Startup Companies Cardinal Sins

Business Plan Structure … 5 Keys to Writing Usable Business Plans



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 Like this short blog? Follow Digital Spark Marketing on LinkedIn or add us to your circles for 3-4 short, interesting blogs, stories per week.



13 Lessons for a Small Business Owner