As a Small Business Owner, you have an endless list of things to manage and you are undoubtedly wearing a lot of hats in your personal and professional life. But there is one hat that can help you keep your head above water: Project Manager
In larger businesses across a wide variety of industries, Project Managers are highly valued and sought after because leaders recognize how crucial that role is in keeping their business humming. As a small business owner, you probably don’t have the luxury of hiring for this role, but you can call on those key project management skills in your own leadership to help your team, and ultimately your business, succeed.
As an enthusiastic small business owner, you’ve no doubt built a team of people who are just as passionate about meeting important deadlines and goals for the company as you are. You hired these people precisely so you didn’t have to be the one to handle everything. So look for ways to include your eager, talented team members in solving problems, suggesting ideas, and even taking ownership of some decisions. They will feel more valued and invested in the success of the business, and you will have the peace of mind knowing not everything needs to fall on your shoulders.
Advance Your People Skills
When you built your team of diversely-skilled employees, you also got a variety of personalities, temperaments, and dispositions. Taking the time to learn and understand your team’s unique traits will make it that much easier to manage their projects and tasks. Learn their communication style, what it looks like when they are overwhelmed, how they like to receive praise and criticism, how they like to process information, etc. The more you can create an environment that allows your people to operate they way they are wired, the healthier and more productive they will be.
Never Underestimate the Power of Good Communication
Nothing builds a team’s confidence in a project manager like effective communication. Clearly-articulated goals, tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities will give people a clear view of what’s expected of them and how to get there. If you place a high value on communicating things in a direct, specific, and timely manner, your team is likely to follow suit in how they communicate with you, and it may even extend to your clients, vendors, and customers as well!
Anticipate Your Team and Clients’ Needs
You’re not expected to read minds or see into the future, but as a project manager, you will be the most effective if you learn your clients’ and team members’ expectations and needs based on past interactions and activity. It is your job to identify what your teammates need to excel in their role, and what your client needs in order to feel cared for. This is only learned through experience, so be patient. However, you can speed up the process by creating an atmosphere where people feel safe expressing their needs. If someone shares a need with you and you successfully deliver, they are more likely to tell you what they need again in the future, and you can start to get a good picture of what to anticipate in the future.With a collaborative attitude, being intentional with your own people skills, effective communication, and anticipating your team’s and clients’ needs, project management becomes less daunting, because you’ll have created a workplace where people can deliver (and be) their best.