I believe entrepreneurship is the backbone of the U.S. There are so many opportunities here, and local small businesses are what make communities stand out. As a small business owner, being able to motivate and lead your team is critical to your business’s success. But it’s also important to set a tone for how you interact with your customer base and set expectations for the quality of product or service you provide.

Small Business Leadership With Your Customers

The most important part of working with your customers is making sure they have a great experience. Do what you say you’re going to do, make sure your product or service has quality, and if something doesn’t go the way it’s supposed to, take ownership of it and fix it. How you interact with customers, handle concerns, and run your day-to-day business represents YOU as a leader, and it will make or break your business.

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Small Business Leadership With Your Team

Building a great rapport with your team can determine how successful your business is. Some of the people on your team may be customer facing and/or may have a direct impact on your bottom line. As a small business owner, it’s important to provide a vision for your business, motivate your team, and create an atmosphere of trust and honesty. To do this, you’ll need to hone these skills:

  • Give and receive feedback on performance, skills, and communication.
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of both yourself and each team member.
  • Be honest, but do so with kindness so you’re approachable. Promote and reward honesty from your team.
  • Always have a detailed plan in place to successfully reach goals and inspire the team.
  • Set clear, achievable goals for each team member (and the team as a whole) that feeds into your plan for successfully completing a project or task.
  • Stay focused while also working to keep your team on track. Communicate efficiently and effectively.

Honesty and integrity goes far with people, whether they’re your customers or your team. You can (and will) make mistakes, and you’ll have the opportunity to fix those mistakes. Trying to cover up a mistake or hide it is worse than the mistake itself, so own up to it and fix it. You’ll end up with a team that supports you and trusts you…and a customer base that chooses your business time and time again because they enjoy the experience.

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