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Small Business Success is not Synonymous with Sustainability


Leadership is different in Small Business.  One leader often sets the tone for the company, the culture, and the team.  The small business owner(s) must personally find ways to keep teams engaged independent of the money they pay them.


There must be extreme clarity of communication as employees often take on multiple roles in small businesses.  They must be clear on different aspects of the business and how they are expected to impact each of them.  Also, the business owner will need to be effective in pitching to investors as well as potential customers.  Each audience will require a different type of communication in efforts to meet them where they relative to expectations.  Leadership must possess communication agility.


Goals in a small business will need to be much more incremental with additional communication and follow up with the team.  And, business owners must be able to identify and communicate key KPIs (key performance indicators) to their teams, and to those that have a vested interest in the company.  KPI trends will need to be tracked and connected back to impacts from operational processes and behaviors.  Those learnings will also need to be communicated to the team.


Many small business owners are subject matter experts in certain areas and are paving the way for other entrepreneurs.  They have the opportunity to open a business because they have mastered their skill at the level that they can now utilize that skill in service to others.  However, leadership doesn’t radically evolve through a change in title or role, or through skill mastery.  It can, in most cases, be developed.


Business owners must now be able to have a ‘global lens’ that encompasses all aspects of the business, and the people piece of the business can make or break the sustainability of that business.  Even the savviest of business leaders will not have a sustainable company long-term if they cannot attract and retain the right talent, create a cohesive team, develop a team, create a balance of recognition and accountability within the culture, and enable them to grow the business.


Not only is success not synonymous with sustainability, it’s variable.  Therefore, leadership development is a constant necessity especially for small business owners.

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