How Stepping Back Can Help Your Business Move Forward

How Stepping Back Can Help Your Business Move Forward

Great Leaders Trust Their Teams

 

As a manager, it can be easy to think of all the things that can go wrong if you sit back, relinquish some control and let your team members take responsibility for their outcomes. What if they make a mistake? What if they lose an important customer or client? What if things don’t go exactly as you planned?

 

Check Your Ego at the Door and Learn From Your Team

 

While it’s good to consider the risks attached to the decision to delegate, it’s important to remember there is also a danger of exercising too much control and inhibiting your team’s ability to grow. In many ways, effective leadership is less about dictating but rather, as John Quincy Adams has said, “inspiring others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more”. By stepping back, you provide the opportunity for your team to step up.

team building

Your Team is a True Reflection of You

 

Remember, you hired your team for a reason – presumably because each person brought some impressive skills and qualities to the table. Being a good leader is about drawing these strengths out and coordinating them to maximum effect for your business. So, rather than assuming you know everything, listen to your team, understand how they work best and give them the tools to allow their strengths to shine.

 

As Forbes contributor, Glen Llopis says, “Leaders must understand that in today’s new workplace, there does not exist a single recipe to encourage employees to perform better. Rather, it’s about how to maximise the ingredients in order to create hundreds of recipes that are customised and authentic; that provide long-term continuity and impact.” If required, Executive Coaching can help you bridge your learning.

executive team coaching executives

Allow Your Team to Grow Their Skills

 

Letting go of the reins also allows your team members to grow in their abilities, which is a win for you in the long run. By stepping back, you enable your team to become more confident and self-sufficient.

 

On the other hand, if you don’t allow your team to learn (even if it means the possibility of mistakes), they’ll become dependent on you. And dependent employees not only mean more work for you as a manager, they also mean stagnation in the growth and productivity of your business.

 

Think of it this way, do you want to develop a team of effective problem solvers, who are able to use their skills to navigate challenges as they come up? Or do you want employees who haven’t been able to develop their abilities and are constantly running to you with every minor roadblock?

team building tree top course

Good Business is About Trust

 

Before you protest and say that by sticking close to their side you’re only helping them to learn, consider a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. According to the authors, the feeling of being surveilled actually results in poorer performance. Rather than incentivising individuals to perform, the pressure of being closely monitored leads to distraction.

 

Guide Your Team to Find Their Own Solutions

 

While this doesn’t mean you should retreat completely and leave your staff to fend for themselves, it does reflect the importance of trusting your team and guiding them to find the solutions for themselves, rather than breathing down their necks and dictating the answers.

 

Trust is Foundational to All Successful Businesses

 

As HR insights company TLNT highlights, trust is foundational to any successful business and this applies to the relationships you have with your employees as well as your clients. Extending a degree of trust that isn’t blind, but rather has clear expectations and accountability built into it, can help to nurture good relationships with your staff, in turn reducing turnover and improving performance.

work team building

Let Your Team Know They Rock!

 

When you step back and trust your team to determine their own outcomes, you send a message: I believe in you and have confidence that you can do an awesome job.

 

Not only does this help employees feel important and valued, it can also help to develop something pretty crucial to a great team – a sense of pride in their work. This sense of pride empowers us to do our best work; not just because it’s a part of our jobs, but because it genuinely gives us satisfaction.

 

Conclusion

 

So, if you have an awesome team, tell them so and most importantly, demonstrate this by trusting them. Emphasise that you’re there if they need help but that you believe in their abilities and are confident in giving them some autonomy. Given the opportunity to step up, you may be surprised at what your team is capable of.

team building paintball

Contact Ben & Sam today to discuss your business on the internet. Your first consultation is FREE.

Ben Waters

Ben Waters

Chief Amazement Officer

Ben Waters owns multiple service based businesses, has scored 7x business awards, has 10,000’s of happy clients & engaged teams. Ben says that his systems are the difference that makes the difference.

Ben knows how hard it can be in business – he’s have tackled every challenge thrown his way way head on, and now loves nothing more than “brain dumping” his years of distilled knowledge into your business.

Ben Waters helps business owners who are willing to work smart & hard, scale their business using results based planning and systems.

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How Stepping Back Can Help Your Business Move Forward

As a manager, it can be easy to think of all the things that can go wrong if you sit back, relinquish some control and let your team members take responsibility for their outcomes. What if they make a mistake? What if they lose an important customer or client? What if things don’t go exactly as you planned?

Policies and procedures essential for top business performance

In an ideal world, employees would start a new job knowing the expectations for their role and how they should conduct themselves. They would know how to respond perfectly in any given situation and their actions would always align with company standards and values.

How asking your customers for a Google Review will get you more sales

How asking your customers for a Google Review will get you more sales

How Collecting & Sharing Client Testimonials Can Help You Get More Sales

 

Google reviews can give businesses a significant boost in credibility without the need to spend any money. The reviews allow good businesses to prove themselves to potential customers.

 

Positive Google reviews are highly desired since they have unprecedented power. The power to influence local SEO, brand trust, feedback, and they ultimately push potential customers towards conversion.

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84% of people trust an online review same as a personal reference from a friend

Here Are the Top 5 Benefits of Google Reviews

 

Bill Loller, Vice President of Mobile at IBM, describes this as a ‘mobile mind shift’ in customers, who now expect to get what they want where and when they need it. He explains that mobile is becoming the customer’s problem solver, which dramatically increases customer expectations.

 

He says his company’s research has found that 75 percent of adults believe there is no reason why a mobile transaction cannot be completed on the first try.

1. Increasing Brand Trust

 

Transparency is growing increasingly relevant for customers. The relevance placed on transparency can mostly be accredited to the accessibility to vast amounts of information on any business.

 

Today, it is actually quite common for consumers to research businesses before purchasing services or products. Consumers now regularly read reviews to determine the reputation of a local business. A significant portion of this research is usually done via Google reviews.

2. Increasing Online Exposure & Boosting Local SEO

 

Google reviews have an impact on Google’s local search. Moz actually estimates that about 9 percent of Google’s entire search algorithm is driven by review signals such as those found in Google reviews.

 

If executed the right way, Google reviews can be an incredibly successful marketing tactic since they help your business get found much more easily and quickly compared to using just traditional SEO tactics such as keyword research and blogging.

3. Gaining Customer Intelligence

 

One of the greatest benefits of Google reviews is the customer intelligence and feedback loop you can gain. Each Google review collected should ideally serve as a customer survey response for both your business and staff. Google reviews also alert you to the areas that you need to improve upon and areas where you have got it right.

 

Google reviews ultimately help you optimise different areas of your business to offer a better customer experience and be found more easily on Google.

4. Improving Click-Through-Rates

 

Smart businesses understand that it is critical to get customer to click on your link when it appears in a search engine. Google reviews are an effective, inexpensive, and excellent way to increase the click-through-rate when you appear in the search engines.

 

Your Google review rating appears next to your business name in Google, which means that a collection of mostly positive ratings is likely to increase clicks through to your website.

5. Converting More customers

 

Once customers click through to your website, you are about to reach the end goal. Customers that visit your website should be encouraged to buy something from your business. Having a smartly designed website and offering a great customer experience is obviously important, but Google reviews can be powerful enough to convert on their own.

 

It is due to this reason that all businesses with a strong Google rating should advertise it all over their website. The rating increases consumer trust even if they never actually read the reviews.

How Do I Ask Customers for a Google Review?

 
Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of Google Reviews and how important they are, you are probably wondering how to get them. Fortunately, getting Google reviews is much easier than you might think.

1. Ask

 

It is that simple. If you want Google reviews ask your customers to leave them. 70 percent of people will actually leave a review when asked.

Take all opportunities available to ask your customers to review your business. Obviously, you should not be annoying and pressure people since nobody likes that. Just ask and you will get reviews.

customer leaving 5 star review

2. Timing is Key

 

Asking customers to leave reviews is the most effective way to get reviews but you need to ask at the right time. It might seem like a no-brainer, but customers are more likely to praise your business when they are still very happy with the experience.

 

Even happy customers may not leave glowing reviews weeks after the service is done.

3. Ask for Feedback, Not 5 Stars

 

Nobody likes being told what to you, and if you beg for a 5-star review, you may leave a bad taste in your customer’s mouth.

 

A better idea would be to tell customers that you would appreciate it if they would leave some feedback on their experience.

customers showing 4 star-review

4. Explain the Benefits of Reviews

 

Reviews obviously benefit you as a business, but they also benefit customers. Tell your customers how the review can help improve their experience the next time they visit.

5. Show them How to Leave a Review

 

Show your customers how to leave reviews. Some will know how to do it, but others have no idea.

 

The process involves signing into Google, searching for your business, clicking to leave a review, selecting a star rating, writing the review, and clicking submit.

Final Thoughts

Google reviews can drive three important areas of your business: feedback, local SEO, and brand trust. If you are not currently making use of Google reviews, you are potentially missing out on the benefits that your competitors are utilising.

 

Start utilising Google reviews today and you will learn that it is one of the best ways to drive leads to your business and gain trust in your area.

Contact Ben & Sam today to discuss your business on the internet. Your first consultation is FREE.

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Policies and procedures essential for top business performance

Policies and procedures essential for top business performance

In an ideal world, employees would start a new job knowing the expectations for their role and how
they should conduct themselves. They would know how to respond perfectly in any given situation
and their actions would always align with company standards and values. Conflicts would never arise
and it wouldn’t be necessary to have someone looking over their shoulder to ensure compliance
with regulations and standards.

 

Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world; we live in one where small infractions can incur big
costs for businesses. While we often associate policy and procedure documents with the
bureaucracy of big corporates, they’re vitally important for small and medium businesses too.

 

Clearly set out policies define expectations within your business and ensure consistency and clarity
amongst staff. They help new employees orient themselves and existing employees to feel confident
in the decisions they make. Importantly, they allow you to manage legal risks and maximise
productivity. Workplace safety policies, for example, can help you to comply with regulations and
avoid unexpected staff absences.

 

At a more practical level, procedures are also key to successful business operations. They drive
efficiency and professionalism and provide official guidance on how employees can optimise policies
using company resources, systems and equipment.

 

And, while writing out procedures may seem time-consuming and mundane, they’re worth the
effort in the long run as they help to speed up and standardise training. In fact, research suggests
that for every $1 of work done, subsequent revisions and compensations for error can cost
anywhere between $5 to $30. Avoiding costly mistakes by having clear and accessible policies and
procedures will guarantee significant long-term savings for your business.

 

What policies and procedures does a small business need?

 

The policies and procedures required for a small business vary according to the business type.
However, here are some of the most useful and common ones and why you need them:

 

Code of conduct

 

Code of conduct policies govern how employees are expected to behave in the workplace. This can
include how they are expected to interact with customers and how they should treat other staff
members. It may also include policies on things like conflicts of interest, drug and alcohol use,
punctuality, bullying and harassment.

 

As the bedrock of relationships within your business, a clear code of conduct is essential to help pre-
empt conflict, encourage professionalism and communicate core values and ethics.

 

Social media, internet and email

 

With so much of our work today being conducted online, many businesses will find it useful to have
policies for social media, email and general internet use included in their code of conduct. This may
include guidelines for both personal and work-related email and social media use.

 

For example, while you may choose not to have an outright ban on personal social media or internet
use, a useful alternative could be to note that personal use should be minimal and should not
interfere with employment obligations.

 

Confidentiality

 

It may not be immediately obvious to employees what they should and shouldn’t talk about outside
the office. Information on how your business is doing financially, for example, isn’t something you’d
want to broadcast publicly, so make sure your employees know when to exercise discretion and
which topics are commercially sensitive.

 

Company cars, credit cards and business expenses

 

If you’re providing a company car or credit card, it’s well worth setting out policies around
appropriate usage. In a similar vein, if your employees need to travel, what expenses will be
covered? Having clear policies around these points will help to reduce needless spending and
misunderstandings that could lead to conflict.

 

Workplace safety

 

This is where both procedures and policies have an important role to play. Ensure you have policies
that provide clear objectives for workplace safety, as well as specific procedures for managing
hazards and responding to incidents and emergencies. Legislation requires that employers provide a
safe and healthy working environment, so make sure you’re up to speed on what your obligations
are and get professional help if you’re not sure.

 

Security and privacy

 

Breaches of security and privacy can be costly, especially for a small business or start-up. Security
and privacy procedures help mitigate this risk by educating staff on aspects such as customer data,
visitor access, virus protection, surveillance and access while working outside standard office hours.

 

Technology use

 

Procedures on how to navigate workplace technology and where to go for support can be hugely
useful, saving both time and resources. This is particularly valuable for new employees.

 

Optimising policies and procedures for business performance

 

Once you’ve formulated comprehensive policies and procedures, it’s essential to follow this up with
a comprehensive staff engagement programme. If your staff aren’t aware of or don’t understand
company policy and procedures they provide little use beyond giving you limited legal cover.

 

To optimise your policies and procedures for business performance, it’s worth considering the
different ways you can communicate them to employees. Remind staff of where they can find them
and consider outlining them in a staff meeting with a slideshow, questions and discussion.

 

It’s also important to keep reviewing your policies and procedures regularly. As technology changes
and your business grows additional policies and procedures may become necessary. Rather than
seeing this as a cumbersome task, view this as an opportunity to refine and improve how your
business functions.

 

 

Policies and procedures may not be as exciting to formulate as a strategic plan, but business doesn’t
always need to be exciting. Sometimes it’s simply important to have everything working smoothly,
without any distractions or issues that need resolving.

Contact Ben & Sam today to discuss your business on the internet. Your first consultation is FREE.

How to do Business on the Internet

How to do Business on the Internet

With consumers spending trillions of dollars every year on online goods and services, the past 20 years has resulted in the high-profile successes of many internet-related businesses. The internet has certainly revolutionised the way we live our lives, and offers a place where individuals can compete with global organisations. But just how do you do business on the internet?

  • Create a business plan – The starting point for any new venture is to create a business plan. You need to know your target market, know your competition, attract funding, secure good resources, build consumer loyalty and forge alliances with strategic partners. Preparation and research are key.
  • Find your market – One of the most important elements of setting up an online business is finding out if there is a market for your idea. Finding a niche may require some research and Ben & Sam offer a free Competitor Analysis, valued at $165, with each website to help you aim for a niche that doesn’t already have a market leader, or attempt to become even more niche – by offering something different or doing something better than your competitors.
  • Get your finances in check – Building a website is a relatively cheap process. Making that website work for you and become a viable business, however, will take some time and money. A basic business site can cost as little as $3,200, while a site that dominates the market may cost up to $20,000 – still much more affordable than bricks and mortar businesses and traditional advertising.
    Do your research on a design house that suits you – comparing benefits and not just features – and have an idea of what you’d like to invest before you start. A continuous effort to build momentum is much more effective than a start-stop method so been prepared financially is a smart move.
  • Don’t overlook marketing – One area where internet businesses often fail is marketing. With no ‘shop window’ through which to promote yourself, how are potential customers going to find you?
    Google AdWords is a cost-effective way of advertising, so too is joining chat rooms and discussion forums, networking with others and getting referrals. Ben & Sam can help you with all your online and social media marketing as well as working with you to improve search engine optimization (SEO) results and ensuring you catch any potential customers searching for your type of product. Marketing does need a concerted effort, but with the right guidance, it’s not as scary as it sounds!
  • Customer relations – Make it fast and easy for customers to contact you or place an order, as a site with a difficult sales process is likely to lose customers. Websites should be easy to navigate and secure, not just pretty, and customer service should be your highest priority. Communicating often with your customers helps them build confidence in you and the services you provide. Ask them what they want from you and react to what they tell you. There could easily be a whole newsletter dedicated to the importance of looking after and leveraging your customers.
  • Start small and have patience – As an online entrepreneur, you’ll need lots of energy, enthusiasm, determination, and passion; but you also need to be realistic. While many businesses are launched, few make a profit, and those who don’t commit will never see a return on investment. That said, while starting up an internet business can be one of the toughest things you ever do, it can also be the most rewarding.

Contact Ben & Sam today to discuss your business on the internet. Your first consultation is FREE.

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