How Small Business Owners Can Empower Their Staff

Your business may have begun its life as a one-person operation, but over time, you might find that you’re no longer able to run your company all on your own. You have to bring on a member of staff. And over time, that one employee develops into a team of employees. This will allow you to take your business to the next level, but it’s important to remember that it won’t happen automatically. You have to set up your business in such a way that it’ll allow your staff to deliver their best work. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some effective tips for empowering your staff, which will ultimately benefit your business.

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Define Your Culture

A company’s culture can have a tremendous impact on the overall success (or failure) of a business. If you’re not actively defining it, then it’ll be developed automatically — and that can have a confusing effect on employees. For a member of staff to work at their best, they need to have a sense of continuity — and that can’t happen if the overall mood of the business is changing from one week to the next, or too influenced by individual employees. By defining your culture, you’ll also be giving your employees something to believe in. It’ll give a deeper meaning to what they’re doing for your company.

Hire the Right People

Of course, it’ll be much easier to galvanize and motivate your employees if you’ve got the right people working for you. This is sometimes harder than you might think. You might think that a person will deliver good work because of their skills and education and so on, but when it comes to hiring the right person, you need to look beyond the resume, and look at what type of person they are. We talked above about defining your culture. One of the many benefits this brings is that it’ll allow you to hire employees who fit culturally with your company. For example: if you’ve got a young and forward-thinking company culture, then hiring people who also think this way would be a lot better than hiring someone who prefers a more traditional company setup. 

What Do You Need? 

You may hire the best talent around, but if you’re not clear about what you want them to do, then it’s highly unlikely that they’ll make the most of their talents. One of the best skills you can develop as a boss is your communication. You might have a clear idea of what you want your new employee to do, but if you’re not able to communicate that idea to them, then you’ll find that your staff spends large chunks of their time slightly confused about what they should be doing. If they do know, then they’ll be free to just dive in and get on with their work, rather than continually having to ask you if what they’re doing is correct. 

And if your employees will be expected to do overtime work, you’ll need to know the difference between exempt vs non exempt employees when it comes to how much you will have to pay them for this extra work.

Friendly Staff

The atmosphere in the office has a huge impact on a person’s ability to work well. Indeed, it’s a highly influential — yet often underrated — aspect of productivity. While there’ll always be days when things aren’t quite as positive as they could be, those days should be the exception, not the rule. One of the best ways to ensure that your office has nothing but good vibes is to hire friendly people. Note that this does not mean ‘overly social.’ It just means that they generally emit a pleasant vibe. 

Onboarding and Training

You could hire the most talented person in the world, but that doesn’t mean that they automatically turn into an excellent employee. It’s up to you to make sure it happens. Think of your new employee as a seed, which, if watered correctly, will develop into a valuable member of the team. This all begins with your onboarding processes, which will help to bring your new employee up to speed. You’ll also want to invest in your employees for the duration of the time that they’re with you, too. Corporate training for your team is one of the best ways to develop your small business. You’ll find that this not only helps to keep standards in the office high but that it improves the overall productivity of your employees — staff always like to see that their employer is willing to invest in their ongoing training. 

Work On Your Leadership

You’re the head of the team by default since you’re the boss. But if you couldn’t automatically assume this role, would your staff vote for you? It’s a question that’s worth thinking about. A lot of business owners find themselves in a position of leadership, but haven’t taken the time to figure out what their type of leadership is. If this isn’t an area in which you’ve excelled in the past, then remember: it’s something that anyone can improve. Indeed, there are courses dedicated to just that!

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The Right Tools and Setup

You could have the most talented employee in the world, but if you don’t have the right tools for him or her to work well, then there’ll only be so much that they can do. By tools, you mean having the technological hardware and software that will allow them to work efficiently. If you don’t know what your office needs, then look at hiring an IT company to help you. 

Work On Your Office

Is your office setup for productive work? Not without your help. Make sure it’s spacious, bright, quiet, and so on. You may also want to add a ‘relaxing’ space where your staff can relax when they’re working. It really can make a huge difference to the happiness and productivity of a team. 

Flexible Working 

The working world is changing. It used to be that staff would always work onsite; after all, there was no other choice. But today there is a choice, and it’s having a profound impact on the working world. Thanks to the rise of the internet, it has never been easier for employees to perform their duties from home. While you may want to have your team onsite on some days, take a look and see if it’s possible for them to work from home. If you want to empower your staff, then, well, help them to feel empowered. If they have more autonomy about where (and possibly when) they work, then they’re going to be more invested in the job — this claim is backed by many studies that show that employees respond positively to increased flexibility in their working schedules

Ask Them What They Need

Finally, one of the more straightforward yet underrated pieces of advice we can give is: just ask your team what they need. Bosses are very good at coming up with their own ideas about how they can help their team to deliver their best work, but sometimes the simplest option is to just flat-out ask them what they need. You could find they come up with something that you had overlooked, but which was obvious to them. 


It really is worthwhile taking the time to invest in your team of employees, and to think about how you can help them to be the best that they can be. This will, of course, ultimately benefit your business, but it’s about more than that. As a leader, you have a responsibility to nurture the people that work for you. In providing the framework for them to work well, you’ll help them to realize their full potential. 

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Transparency In Business: When, Why and How Much?

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When looked at from the outside, the business world can seem quite opaque. The field has a jargon all of its own, and seems to move at a different pace than the world beyond. For those “behind the curtain”, it’s never as exciting as this opacity might make it seem, but a few moments speaking with a customer can let you in on the fact that as far as they are concerned, you might as well be working in military intelligence.

Anyone who has handled a tricky customer services issue will know that there is often a line to be toed between giving the customer the answers they want, and giving up privileged information that isn’t yours to share. When you’re the owner of the business, you have more leeway over what you can and can’t divulge, but still there are issues raised by disclosure. In the modern day, few things are as important as transparency; a business or other entity that is seen as having “something to hide” can soon find itself in the firing line.

Why is transparency important?

A business that is reluctant to part with information when asked can be seen as secretive. When there is a gap between what someone is willing to divulge, and what someone else wants to know, there is a vacuum that can fill with speculation. Speculation, when unaddressed, can quickly become the “truth” to the people asking questions. So a business should always seek to answer questions as fully and as promptly as possible.

Is that 100% transparency?

No business can legitimately offer absolute transparency on everything, because just as you have a duty to your customers, you also have one to your employees. This is one reason why, by law, there is a period of time permitted to businesses before they turn over records; often, redactions will be needed to protect employee privacy.

What are the consequences of incomplete transparency?

A customer is entitled to see any and all records that a business holds with regard to them. From the moment their dealings with you begin, you should make sure that record-keeping is flawless, using PDF editor software to ensure that documents are stored in a shareable way. If, upon being asked, you are unable to turn over information that the customer knows they have shared with you, then they will legitimately ask how you have managed to lose it – and you could face serious repercussions.

How do I know which information I can share and which I cannot?

Once a customer has identified themselves to you and your business, you can answer questions that they have as long as those answers do not interfere with the privacy of another individual. Answers should only ever cover the information that is directly requested, and for fuller disclosures it is essential that you work with a lawyer who is expert in the growing field of data law. They will know what can be released and how, and will manage this process.

Transparency is an issue that is growing in importance as time goes on, and this is the case in business more so than anywhere else (outside of government). So knowing where you stand is essential, and informing yourself is a smart step.

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