Friday, October 15, 2010

5 Tips To Be a Better Boss on Boss's Day 2010

It’s that time of year again, hard-working employees—Boss’s Day—a day that lands every year on October 16th in which we thank our loving bosses who help us strive to be the best in business.  But what does Boss’s Day mean for people who start their own business?  How can entrepreneurs celebrate the day?  If you start a small business, even a home-based business, can you celebrate Boss’s Day?  Of course you can!  After all, you are your own boss!

Starting your own business is a risky business venture, which is all the more reason for successful entrepreneurs to celebrate the October holiday.  Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and innovators, are more likely than not, their own bosses.  They must motivate themselves each and every day to check off all to-do’s, excited all weary employees, and accomplish long and short-term business goals (usually by following their own strategic business plan).

When you’re an entrepreneur, you are not only the boss of yourself, but you may also be the boss of the employees of your business.  So where are the boxes of chocolates?  The bouquets of flowers?  The thank-you notes that simply state “Thanks for being a great boss”?  If you want employees to celebrate Boss’s Day happily with you, take these 5 tips to be the best boss—not only for your employees, but also for yourself and your startup.

1.      1.  Realize that there are 3 bosses: you, the employee, and the customer

As the owner of a small business, yes, you are the boss.  But employees have to make the right decisions at the right times as well.  The employee needs to be self-motivated to get the job done and, in essence, be their own boss.  Without customers, your business is irrelevant.  Therefore, there needs to be a symbiotic relationship between these three “bosses”--entrepreneurs, employees, customers--is extremely important for a startup's success.

2.  No secrets allowed

Entrepreneurs should not keep hidden agendas, closed doors, or a chamber of secrets from your employees.  Be sure to keep everyone involved in the small business in the know.  This can come in the form of human resources or weekly meetings with employees.  The more involved your employees are, the more effective your business will become.

3.  Get involved

The best bosses don’t sit in their offices, behind their desks and chat on the phone all day.  Great bosses are involved in the startup’s activity and walk around during the day, talk with customers, make sales, and become a role model for customer service.

4.  Be nice and treat everybody equally

The stereotype of a typical boss portrayed in most television shows and movies is usually a mean, nagging, rude boss.  No one wants a Mr. Lumberg, the annoying boss portrayed on the comedic film, Office Space.  Or Dr. House on House who seems to care about no one but himself.  Or Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons, Dr. Bob Kelso from Scrubs, Gordon Ramsey from Hell’s Kitchen, Michael Scott from The Office…you get the idea.

Good bosses utilize the Golden Rule: treat everyone the way you would want to be treated.  Sometimes, it’s just as simple as that.

5.  Don’t use “Us vs. Them”

Pitting the entrepreneur, supervisors, managers, or the small business owner against the employees is a recipe for trouble.  To avoid the “Us vs. Them” environment, the best boss will get a sense for how employees feel about managers and supervisors.  Allow all employees to have a chance to state any concerns.  There should always be an air of mutual respect and cooperation between management and employee, working toward one common goal. 

As an entrepreneur, innovator, or small business owner, you will be your own boss and the boss of your entire company.  Take these 5 tips to heart, and you will improve your “boss-like characteristics” and who knows?  Maybe your employees will buy you a cake and celebrate Boss’s Day! 

Allison Way is a writer and videographer for Think Big Partners and bizperc, two of Kansas City’s newest entrepreneurial resources.  To read more of Allison’s work, visit the Kansas City Entrepreneurship Examiner.

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