Top tips for success

Small-business owners share their advice for running successful companies


As you are well aware, it's tough to find and keep workers. But there are things you can do to increase your chances of retaining stellar employees while improving your bottom line. Small-business financial firm Fundera, New York, asked 31 leading small-business owners their top management tips. Following are a few of the best ones:

  • Empower your employees. Nate Martin, CEO of Puzzle Break, Seattle, says employees should be made to feel "directly connected to the success and growth of the business."

  • Facilitate employee growth. "I believe regular communication and training is really important because both of these topics are moving targets," says Steven Benson, founder and CEO of Badger Maps, San Francisco.

  • Let go of full control. Jordan Scheltgen, managing partner at Cave Social, Los Angeles, shares this advice: "Do what you're the best at, and lean on others to help you with things you don't like to do."

  • Hire for attitude. "My small-business management tip is this: Hire for attitude and train for skill," says Jason Hessom, owner of SafetyVideos, La Mesa, Calif.

  • Believe in your employees. Rosemary Plorin, president and CEO of Lovell Communications, Nashville, Tenn., believes "sharing information with employees—at least top-line financials and key performance indicators—can help you tap into a rich font of insight, engagement and employee loyalty."

  • Don't let the numbers run your business. "There are many ways to judge progress—sales is just the shiniest. Let the numbers be what they are, and keep on building your whole company," says Scott Toal, president of Short Run Pro, Belmont, N.C.

  • Stick to processes. "Create a standard book of operating procedures. If [you] want to go on vacation or were no longer there, [your] staff could follow the procedures in the book. Documenting my procedures has made ... processes more efficient," says Chris Abrams, owner of MJ Life Insurance, San Diego.

  • Keep your employees happy. Grant van der Harst, managing director of Anglo Liners, Sheffield, U.K., advises: "I've learned the best way to manage employees is to offer flexibility."

To read the complete list of 31 tips, click here.

Ambika Puniani Reid is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's vice president of communications and production.

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