What is Small Business Leadership?

Small Business Leadership

Table of Contents

What is Small Business Leadership?

What do I mean by small business leadership? It sounds impressive and, to some, it may conjure up so many questions and puzzling thoughts as to what it entails.

However, if you run your own small business, then what I’m about to explain to you throughout this post may prove to be rather important.

Why is leadership important in small business?

As the owner of a small business, you need to lead from the front. You are the captain of the ship. However, being successful does require certain attributes and approaches. After all, how could a ship manage to avoid the rocks and sinking if the captain is not competent?

This idea of steering a business in the right direction, and managing to avoid pitfalls, is where the concept of small business leadership comes into its own.

Now, I do want to make one thing clear at this point.

This entire idea of leadership needn’t be limited to those businesses that have employees. You need to be a leader from the outset even if you are doing everything on your own. Your business needs guidance from the beginning, and that in itself is a form of leadership.

So, how would I describe this whole leadership thing?

Well, it covers a number of areas, and I will get into them throughout the post. Let’s begin by looking at the basic definition.

Leadership, in this context, is noted as the ability to lead both employees and the company in general through change, difficulties, or any issue that affects the company in some way. Now, I know that is wide-ranging, but it actually stresses how complex effective leadership can be.


As a leader, you must be capable of wearing different hats at different times. You must be aware of your weak areas but know how to combat them to prevent those areas from having an impact on the business.

Also, you must have the correct level of cognition to deal with changes while understanding conditions and situations may not remain the same. Thinking out of the box, but in a sensible way, is a key part of being a leader in a business. Dealing with sudden problems and remaining calm when doing so will also help.

A strong leader within a business needs to believe they can wear a number of different hats and still perform to the same high level. Others in the business look up to them for help and guidance, so how would it reflect on the business if its leadership teams were weak and appeared clueless?

That is why the concept of strong leadership development in small businesses is so important.

The Role of Leadership in Small Business

I’ve covered the role in passing already, but to help you better understand how leadership impacts your business, I must delve deeper into it all.

The role of leadership should be obvious. Individuals operating within the business require others to take the lead and offer guidance.

This applies no matter the size of the business. But we can check out some of the roles in a bit more detail. Do note that this is not a complete list.

Leading Towards the Vision of the Business

Leadership must help guide the business, and the employees, toward the vision of the business. The difficulty here is a business that moves through various processes and obstacles on a daily basis.

A leader, in this sense, must still see the vision even when the path toward a goal is blocked. They need to remain calm and level-headed to pull the business through those obstacles and carry on to that vision.

The vision of a business needs to be shared with others. It makes it easier for employees to then buy into what the company is doing. This ultimately leads to results, but a leader should be capable of informing employees about the benefits they will receive for helping work toward that vision.

Small Business Leaders - Inspiring Others

A leader should inspire others in the business. They should have the ability to motivate and to encourage commitment from others to the project.

Leadership also involves noticing when morale or motivation levels are dropping. They need the skills to lift people when required, and this is a particularly important talent to have for the future success of any business.

Motivation is the perfect way to help employees become more productive. It helps a business grow, and to continue to grow. Being able to motivate others as a leader is a key skill to have.

Guidance and Support During Change

Leadership is important at all times, but it takes on a whole new meaning during times of change. Of course, change means a number of different things, but being the strong individual with a clear mind during these phases helps not simply the business, but the employees as well.

You want employees to look at those in charge and know the right people are in those positions. Leadership training and development can help nurture the skills required to give off that type of energy.

With strong leaders, change or obstacles within a business appear less scary to employees. They feel the right captain is steering the ship, and production will not drop due to their fears.

Being capable of offering guidance through these times can be the difference between your company not only surviving an issue, but growing as a result.


This all comes down to communication, and the ability to do this well. A good leadership team will have strong communication channels in place. Information needs to be passed between individuals in the business for it to function correctly. A failure to do so leads to mistakes that will ultimately be detrimental to the business as a whole.

Leadership teams should communicate with others on a regular basis. Employees should be made to feel they are listened to and that people will take notice of them.

Mentoring Ability

Employees come and go in a business. It’s just the nature of everything. However, another leadership skill that can prove beneficial is mentoring.

As a leader, people should look to you for various positive attributes. I’ve already mentioned the need for confidence and so on, but employees should feel they can gain something from those higher up the ladder.

What I mean here is for a leader to be aware of how to pass on their skills to others in order to further assist the business. If you have wonderful sales skills, then being aware of those skills and how others could benefit from learning from you is a wonderful leadership quality to have.

But mentoring is about more than that.

It also shows employees that the leadership team has the best interests of the employees at heart. By taking the time to have training sessions or to simply speak and pass on knowledge to others boosts that morale within the company.

It also leads to greater productivity from those individuals and the business is also more likely to grow.


What does a business leader do?

Leadership brings with it certain skills. A percentage of business owners and management will already have the skills, but they may require some refining from time to time.

But what are the most important skills in this instance?

That list contains only a few of the key skills that any effective leader should have. So, which skills do you have?

Who Can Be Involved?

Leadership doesn’t have to only come from the business owner. Instead, senior management or anybody involved in making decisions of some kind can also be included.

The numbers will vary from business to business. It will also depend on different arms of your business. You may wish to effectively train certain employees in both management and leadership to build different aspects of your business.

Basically, anybody in a business can develop leadership skills. They help not only in business, but in life in general.

The Need for Leadership Teams in Small Business

But what happens when a business has grown to the point where it has a number of employees? Well, that’s where leadership teams will come into play.

I want you to think about your business and the various tentacles that spread out from the core. Juggling all those branches isn’t easy.

Each tentacle is like a spinning plate. If you don’t have someone strong enough, or having the correct knowledge, to spin those plates, they will come crashing down. Your business could do the exact same thing.

What you need is to have a team of people you can rely on to make the correct decisions for the future of the business. You must feel you can trust and depend on them, or it will all fall apart.

These individuals will take up some of the stress a business owner feels. They spread the load of responsibility. They inject new life into aspects of the business, and it makes it easier for the business to grow as a result.

As your company builds, you need to have this strong leadership team in place to prevent additional obstacles from landing in your way. Trust me when I tell you it smooths out the path that lies ahead.

Leadership Piramyd-01

Understanding Executive Leadership for Small Business

I want to quickly address a point you may come across if searching for advice on this topic, and that’s to do with executive leadership for small business.

This is a term that sounds important, but I have already covered the different aspects of it before this point.

Executive leadership is merely the way in which a company is describing its leadership structure. At the top, you have the business owner. It may then involve a board of directors before working its way down to senior management. You could have additional levels included depending on the size of your business, or how it is structured.

But this is the key point.

Everybody involved in the ‘executive leadership’ need the same skills to perform. Don’t allow the use of the term ‘executive’ to make you perceive something extra special is going on. That’s not the case. Small business leadership is all about the same things throughout, and it doesn’t matter what title you apply to it.

Teaching Small Business Leadership

So, where can I help? Well, I help by teaching small business leadership. I have the personal experience of owning my own business and working within leadership teams to know what I’m talking about.

For me, you need this personal experience to be passed on to others instead of a business owner having to listen to an individual who merely managed to learn everything in a classroom. That doesn’t cut it in my book.

Teaching something as important as small business leadership from your own personal experience is invaluable.

So, expect webinars and discussions. Videos and clear communication. Problem solving and problem solutions. All designed to fit in with your own business, problems, and issues. This is all part of the small business leadership training program. However, I’d advise you to get in touch in order to learn more about how I can help you and your business with your own leadership program.

Key Questions

Most people manage to conjure up a number of key questions related to small business leadership, and while it would take an eternity to cover them all, let’s look at some of the more common questions.

Most people manage to conjure up a number of key questions related to small business leadership, and while it would take an eternity to cover them all, let’s look at some of the more common questions.

Won’t Small Business Leadership Books Help Me?

You will find small business leadership books out there on the market, but here’s one important point.

Those books do not know your business!

They use generic terms and approaches that should kind of…sort of…..just about….fit into any small business if you push hard enough and throw parts away so it slots into place.

Basically, how can a book help when the book is incapable of understanding your own individual issues, problems or structure? The answer is it’s impossible.

The best approach to small business leadership is undoubtedly the personal touch. You simply cannot get that from a book.

Your business is unique. The needs and requirements for leadership are, therefore, also unique. How can a book with that ‘one size fits all’ approach possibly help in that type of situation?

I would advise you to ignore books that focus on small business leadership. Sure, they may help you in some small way, but you need to think so far out of the box as to how anything could be applied to your own business that it’s wasting your time.

Do Small Business Leadership Development Programs Work?

When talking about small business leadership development programs, I want to make it clear I’m talking about development programs within your business.

So, let me walk you through what would tend to happen with this type of program.

As the owner, you have created the structure within the business. However, as the business expands, you need some assistance to maintain that structure or too much pressure will lead to it breaking.

But that’s where a problem occurs. How do you know you have the correct leaders in place capable of taking on some of those core roles without the business itself suffering?

That’s where a leadership development program can make a difference.

You see, it’s entirely possible you have some employees that you believe would become great team leaders. You know them well, and you may have employed them for some time.

However, that doesn’t always turn into an individual being an actual strong leader.

Instead, this is where a leadership development program will help. It not only allows the business owner to determine which individuals are capable of leading, but it allows individuals to learn if they are indeed cut out for that position.

It can be surprising at times who turns out to be the best leader. The idea of finding a diamond in the dirt can certainly be applied here.


What is the Aim of the Program?

The aim of the program is to help senior individuals in the business to become leaders and to help pull the business forward. This will not only help develop their skills, but also their resilience and develop their confidence in decision-making.

But as I keep repeating, trying to use a one-size program designed for business and leadership teams in general can be tough. That is why having a coach to help you through all this will help. However, I’ll talk about that some more in a short while.

So, let me summarize the aim of a leadership program for small businesses.

How I go about all this is something that can be discussed with you on a personal basis. The need to take a business on an individual level and determine the best approach from a leadership perspective will help shape the entire future of that business.

Are Small Business Leadership Coaches Helpful?

Finally, you may wonder if small business leadership coaches will help. Well, that depends on the coach.

In general, I would argue a coach would be extremely helpful in this situation. You need a coach with experience of not only having their own business, but in helping other businesses grow as well. Leadership and growth go together. You need one to work with the other.

A coach well-versed in developing businesses and individuals will be perfectly placed to help you form your own leadership team along with improving your individual skills. But you need to be aware of a few things before going with any coach.

You must always do your own research into the coach before contacting them. Do they have the desired experience in developing businesses and being capable of coping with all the problems that come with owning your own company?

Also, check you will be dealing with the actual coach you are studying. Some companies will have you talking to one individual only to then be handed over to someone else. That is pointless. You don’t know the coach and it’s impossible to build up a relationship.

You need to have spent time discussing your business and ideas with the coach in question to then be in a position to move forward and develop your leadership skills.

In my case, I have a number of strategies and approaches I can use to help propel you forward and build your leadership qualities. I don’t try to force any one approach onto a client in the hope it fits.

Instead, I spend time learning about you and your small business. I look at understanding where you feel there are problems, or I identify those areas on my own, before working at making them stronger.

I do not try to squeeze you into some type of pre-conceived box. That will never work.

I work at taking you, and your leadership team, and working on your skill set to make it easier for you to make positive decisions for your business. By working alongside me, both your team and your own self will discover some added confidence in your ability to make even the hardest decisions.

Is hiring me to help develop your leadership skills going to be helpful? Absolutely, but do take the time to have a free session with me to discuss your thoughts and expectations before moving to the next step.

So, What Next?

If you would like to learn more about small business leadership and how I could help you with your own business, then contact me for a free consultation.

I am experienced not only building my own businesses and leading teams but have helped many businesses do the same.  I understand the issues and concerns you may face. I am aware of what is often required to help you form a stronger approach to leading your business through whatever the future holds.

Leading a small business is not something where you need to do on your own. Contact me for a chat today and begin to form a better future for both you and your business.

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