How to Manage and Lead Your Way to Entrepreneurial Success

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By Julie Morris

If you’re beginning your career as an entrepreneur, chances are you already know that adept management and leadership are inherent parts of your job. No one masters these skills right away, but here are some tips to help you practice them and work towards becoming a respected manager, a strong leader, and a successful entrepreneur.

Practice Entrepreneurial Management

Management isn’t only about delegating projects to employees and quelling the concerns of customers — in fact, depending on the size of your enterprise and the industry you’re in, those tasks may be irrelevant to you.

However, every entrepreneur has to manage things like assets and payroll. You can stay on top of paychecks, tax withholdings, and hours worked using payroll software that automatically calculates payroll and fulfills payments through direct deposit. If you’re riding solo or have a small number of people working for you, here’s how you can avoid emergencies: a payroll calendar! This can be in the form of detailed spreadsheets that are customizable and somewhat scalable as your business grows and that automatically keeps track of your payroll schedule, as well as calculate wages and deductions.

Either way, the right payroll system, whether it’s an intricately designed spreadsheet or a software application, should also have the ability to integrate with tools for scheduling, invoicing, and time tracking. Either option should make your life easier, as payroll can be grueling and complex, and running it incorrectly can incur IRS penalties.

Management for entrepreneurs also calls for skills that aren’t as crucial when managing a large, established corporation. One prominent example is managing risk, which entrepreneurs face in many forms:

  • Personal Risk: If you’ve invested personal savings, had relatives provide you with funding, or made other sacrifices for your business venture, you’re facing a degree of personal risk.
  • Economic and Financial Risk: In addition to the need to secure funding for immediate and future use, entrepreneurs face the risk of economic downturns or other trends that could affect the performance of their businesses.
  • Workplace Risk: If you’re co-founding a business or working with a team, you probably trust and get along with your colleagues, but entrepreneurship is a fast-paced, demanding career, and there can be a risk of disagreements or fallouts.

Establish Yourself as a Leader

According to Wallace K. Pond, an entrepreneur, adviser, and educator with over 30 years of experience, management and leadership are both important in organizations, but each one calls for different skills and strategies.

When it comes to leadership, the demands and challenges of entrepreneurship give you a natural advantage: You’re already developing skills that also benefit good leaders.

  • Motivation: According to a recent study, 29% of entrepreneurs started their business because they wanted to be their own bosses, while others were motivated by desires to be free of corporate America or to pursue true passions. Motivations like these reflect the trailblazing, proactive mindset that helps entrepreneurs be inspiring leaders.
  • Vision: Having a vision that you believe in means that you have something to keep working toward every day, even when difficulties arise. This can be as inspiring for employees and investors as it is for you.

One good way to show that you’re a community leader, as well as a business leader, is to join the local chamber of commerce. Although the internet has transformed networking and marketing, many chambers of commerce are striving to keep up and offer unique opportunities to local entrepreneurs and business owners.

Launching, managing, and leading a business venture is a remarkable experience and an impressive accomplishment. As an entrepreneur, you have the opportunity — and the challenge — of learning to succeed in business as both a manager and a leader. For further coaching and support, reach out to Wallace K. Pond today.