Small Business faces many challenges. It does not have the strength to draw on huge amounts of finance. It is often at the mercy of suppliers, customers and franchisors who have their own vested interests. It is in this often very tricky, very volatile environment that small business leaders are called to operate.
One of the great challenges that small business leaders face is the need to be flexible. With smaller staff numbers there is less scope for job transferability in the face of staff turnover or leave time. Small Business Leaders need to manage the needs of their own department with the needs of the business overall when allocating job tasks particular in positions where there is no cross skilling available.
They are also meant to interact with different departments on a more regular basis. For some, this is simple and they do not have a problem with communication within the business. For others however, this is more of a problem. Particularly for those people who have technical vocations, interacting with sales and back house staff can be quite a challenge. It is important to address these challenges through additional training and group sessions. Special projects are an effective way of teaching all within the organisation to interact together and to learn from each other. Of course in a small organisation this is not always practical. It is often a case of learning on the job and as leaders gain more experience they will become better equipped with communication. What is highly recommended is for an external, experienced mentor for these leaders to give them the insights they have learnt and help them adjust to this important aspect of leadership.
Small Businesses also don't tend to have the policy and procedural structure of a larger business. This is because of their size the need for such procedures is not yet evident and there is an even greater need to be able to adapt quickly to change. This means changing procedures semi regularly if it does not fit into the staff at the time or the business environment. Being flexible and investing in cross training is a vital asset for a small business leader.
As can be seen, small business leaders face exceptional challenges but with the help of mentors and investing in valuable time saving and development techniques like cross skilling small business leaders can meet the challenges that are thrown at them.