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Basic Management for Small Businesses

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Bridging the Gap between "Manager" and "Management"

As the owner of a small business, you are likely the one who is responsible for the day-to-day management of your store or operation. Even with 2-20 people on the team (and sometimes even at larger organizations), some businesses have only 1 leader who is particularly important to the business making new choices and evolving. This same pattern sometimes also shows up in large businesses that split up into functional areas, where each local Director may feel like they have a "small business" in their unit.

Business leaders often exert their influence over their environment and team through many different tools, like sales goals, employee role documents, customer policies, and strategic plans. These activities are an effective way for a leader to expand their influence over more of the business to make sure high-quality decisions and services are being provided. Leaders are often bottlenecked on time and unable to attend to all potentially relevant decisions, so policies such as these help a leader transition from being merely 1 "Manager" to representing the collective strength of "Management." Think about the difference between your direct messages and orders, and the way your vision is broadly interpreted by others.

There is value in using prepared tools and visions to tap into a larger sphere of influence. Business leaders can take more control over the success of their business and expand the boosting effect of their vision on their team, customers, and environment. While it may seem like a daunting task to have this much responsibility, it is important to remember that the success of your business depends on your ability to make sure your team effectively manages it.

There are a number of factors that contribute to successful management. Here, I would like to describe a simple framework for Basic Management. These principles are general and broad enough to work at many businesses. See if they spark any interesting trains of thought at yours!

To make sure your business has Basic Management, it's important to cover many broad areas well, including setting goals, planning and organizing, leading and motivating employees, and monitoring and evaluating results. By focusing on these areas, you can ensure that that your employees are productive and motivated and that your business runs smoothly and efficiently.

A Framework for Basic Management

1. Set Goals

One of the most important aspects of good management is setting goals. Without goals, it is difficult to know what you want to achieve as a business. By setting realistic and achievable goals, you can ensure that your business is moving in the right direction.

Goals may take many forms including quantitative forecasts and qualitative predictions. They can even be as basic as the desire to complete some project or improve some problem area. Writing these goals down in some format is essential to gaining much of their value. It opens the door to later review, learning, and growth.

If your business does not have any goals yet, first consider evaluating your business's values or core problem areas. ARS Analytics specializes in conducting workshops to help your team put together a shared panel of goals.

2. Plan and Organize

3. Lead and Motivate

4. Monitor and Evaluate

By focusing on these 4 key aspects of management, you can ensure that your small business is successful. Remember, the success of your business depends on your ability to make sure your team effectively manages it.

The author generated this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.

If you are curious about the potential to use AI- or ML-assisted technologies on your next business project, ask us about our own results!

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