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What you need to know about small business management

Making wise management decisions is one of the most important skills you need to have to help ensure the success of your company. Here are seven steps to help you to consistently make wise business management decisions:

1. Make sure it's your decision to make. Sometimes some of the most stressful decisions are the ones that belong to someone else. Make sure you are the one responsible for making the decision and finding a solution, before becoming the decision maker. Write down your options and/or alternatives. Writing down your options, will turn the options into a reality. Seeing the options that are available to you will help in finding the best possible solution.

2. Collect as much information as possible. After writing down your options and alternatives, gather more information about possible solutions and their outcomes. This is a safe way to experiment with ideas without making a quick decision.
3. Go with your gut feeling. Never dismiss your gut feeling. Trust your instincts. If you have gathered the information needed and feel comfortable with your decision, go for it. Learn to trust your instincts, but don't make business management decisions solely on your gut feeling. Make a decision using the data collected, then go with your instincts.
4. Listen to employees' input and feedback. You can learn from employees. Be appreciative of an employee's input, even if it is not useful. Never belittle employee's opinions, this will only result in low morale and decrease productivity.
5. Don't rely on employees too heavily. Try to avoid leaning on any one certain employee for information and possible solutions. Obtain information from several different sources, this will give you more to work with when it comes time to make that final decision.
6. Perform a cost benefit analysis. A wise business management decision should always make financial sense. Basically what it comes down to is, ask yourself " Is this worth it?"

Making wise business management decisions is an important skill in operating a successful company but not the only skill needed. Setting goals for yourself, your employees and your company is another very useful skill. When setting these goals be specific, tell employees what is expected of them. Communicate with them your company goals. Make sure the goals are realistic and attainable. Goals set too high or too low become meaningless and eventually get ignored. The goals set must have a starting point and ending point to be effective. Commitment to deadlines helps employees to focus their efforts on reaching that goal on or before the due date. Setting goals should be done with employee's. Listen to opinions and input from employees, some of the input may not be useable, but allowing employee's to take part will not only higher morale but will also increase efficiency and work productivity.

Managing employees can be rewarding experience, but it can also be quite challenging. Some common mistakes made by management will only make the experience more challenging. One of the most common mistakes made is not setting an example. Your employees look to you as a source of guidance and leadership. Be respectful to others, open to ideas and communicate clearly. Another common mistake made by management is pointing out mistakes instead of giving positive feedback. Of course you don't want to give positive feedback when a mistake is made but instead of just pointing out the mistake, offer suggestions and solutions to help the employee recognize the problem. Give positive feedback as much as possible, be generous with compliments. Show your appreciation for employee's hard work and commitment, and they will continue to work hard for you.

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