Management Principles for Small Businesses

Why do small businesses need new Management Principles?

In an increasingly globalised and competitive business world, how can small businesses not only stand out from the crowd, but adapt, survive and prosper?

Relying on outmoded traditional bureaucratic and hierarchical management styles favouring control, conformity and discipline, are no longer viable options. So what are the new management principles small businesses need, to respond to rapid technological change, increasingly demanding customers and evermore discerning employees?

Based on my work over the last twelve years with a wide variety of small and micro businesses, I believe these 7 management principles are key to ensuring organisations not only survive, but thrive in the modern world

1. Openness

Honest and open communications that rely on mutual trust between business owners and their workforce not only optimise involvement and engagement, but encourage idea sharing and innovation.

2. Flexibility

Companies that are brave enough to reduce their reliance on formal procedures and rules, whilst remaining true to their core beliefs and values, enables them to be more responsive to change without compromising on quality.

3. Collaborative

Working together not only within teams and inside companies, but also across complementary businesses, helps develop responsive and more cost-effective solutions.

4. Diversity Aware

Companies that actively encourage diversity and embrace difference can capitalise on new ideas, creativity and innovation, rather than over-relying on the tried and tested methods.

5. Innovative

New ideas and inventions come from environments that give individuals space, freedom and autonomy to grow, develop and experiment.

6. Passion

Excitement about new products, services and markets, coming from the passion and drive of owner managers can be infectious to all those working inside an organisation. They in turn become valuable business advocates.

7. Resilience

Organisations that can recover and learn from their mistakes are able to not only harness new developments, but reinforce organisational engagement and teamwork by pulling together through adversity.

These 7 Management Principles must be underpinned by a genuine desire to grow businesses with their people, summed up very succinctly by Richard Branson:

“Train people well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t want to”

If you would like to explore how these management principles can apply to your business, please give me a call!


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