Although it can be easy to focus on the huge global brands that dominate business headlines, the importance of SMEs must not be overlooked. It is these small to medium enterprises that actually provide the foundation on which the economies function and the corporate sector operates. As any entrepreneur who sets up their own SME knows, running this kind of organization can offer some unique challenges.
Although examples such as driving up customer satisfaction levels and getting the best returns from marketing campaigns show how this is true, being able to drive sustained, exponential growth is also important. Focusing on this is critical for SMEs as it enables them to constantly move forward and avoid stagnating. In addition, it allows these firms to engage more consumers, increase their revenues, and become well-established over time.
Business growth is driven by positive leadership
The subject of stimulating exponential growth in business is one that naturally garners a lot of attention at senior levels. It is also something that can be achieved in a number of ways. Developing innovative new products or services, for example, can help a company attract new customers to drive up sales. Using the latest digital marketing resources is another good example and can help businesses engage more consumers in the most effective ways online (such as via social media platforms or online searches).
One thing that has the most impact on exponential business growth though is effective leadership. This is so crucial because it underpins everything else an organization does to grow and directly influences how successful any plans around this are. Although the examples above are ways to stimulate business expansion, they are almost impossible to achieve without positive leadership behind them.
How can senior business figures develop high-quality leadership skills?
Before we look at how positive leadership can drive exponential growth in any SME, it is wise to consider how this skill can be developed. By doing this, organizational leaders are able to find ways to hone their skills in this area once they learn why it makes sense. For those who are looking to move up into more senior leadership roles, finding out how to refine their skills in this area is vital.
The best way to go about it is through further academic study on a high-level business course. The Master’s Degree in Leadership from St. Bonaventure University is a popular option to consider and offers flexible, convenient online learning for busy professionals. With the chance to graduate in just 15 months, this program also helps students develop their leadership skills for use in the corporate world.
How can positive leadership help an SME grow over time?
Once students have honed their abilities to lead in a positive manner through academic study, they are ready to help SMEs grow and move forward. But how can high-end leadership skills make this happen?
Clear vision and direction for business to follow
It is always worth searching out the best tips for any SME or business owner and this is certainly true when it comes to how positive leadership can drive sustained growth. For any SME to grow into a larger company over time, it needs a clear vision and measurable objectives. Effective leadership is key to this and essential for setting out a clear direction of travel to help any SME expand as planned.
Leaders, for example, are able to set strategic goals that not only identify how a company can grow but also what steps can be taken to achieve this, what resources are needed to help, and how the process of growth will be managed.
They are also able to use their creative thinking skills to settle on a clear vision for their business moving ahead and then use their communication skills to pass this on to employees. This ability to not only set a clear vision for the company but also communicate where it is headed in the future is key for inspiring staff to work toward it. As a result, outstanding leadership is able to motivate employees to achieve the vision for growth that senior figures produce.
Empowering and developing talent
Although attracting more customers and retaining current ones is very important for exponential business growth, recruiting the best talent is also crucial. This is because a workforce of the most talented people will provide the best service to customers and work to a much higher standard. An ultra-talented employee base will also help drive innovation to push any SME forward and include future management figures who can do the same.
Whilst recruiting the most talented workers is one part of the equation, finding ways to empower and develop them is also critical. If companies do not find ways to achieve this, they risk their employees not developing to their maximum potential and not feeling empowered enough to foster innovation in their current role.
But how can inspirational leadership help when it comes to the most useful ways to empower employees? The best leadership gives staff true ownership of their role and the freedom to suggest changes to their workflow which could increase productivity. This in turn could help increase revenues and lead to real growth over time. Empowering staff to feel like they really matter in this way also helps them feel extra motivated to work harder to fuel growth.
In terms of developing talent to spark positive business changes, high-quality leadership can help by investing in training which enables staff to evolve professionally. Leaders may also conduct regular personal development reviews to pinpoint areas staff need help to become stronger in and provide an encouraging environment for workers to develop. All of these things can help the talent in any small to medium enterprise evolve over time and help push the organization forward as this happens.
Promotion of a positive workplace culture
There is no doubt that positive leadership is crucial for helping a strong, ethical workplace culture to develop in any SME. When leaders show a positive attitude in their own work, for example, this naturally rubs off on everyone else and can inspire them to adopt the same approach
The net result of this is a “can do” attitude across a business which helps employees to perform to their maximum capabilities. This is key to enabling customer service levels to rise, orders to be fulfilled quicker and employees to be more inclined to put extra work in when needed. Factors such as these can really help a business grow over time and expand its operations.
Positive leadership is also important for building a workplace culture that is inclusive, kind to all, and based on treating people well. This may be seen through examples such as leaders praising people for performing consistently well or ensuring people from all backgrounds feel comfortable working in a business.
By enabling this, positive leadership creates an environment where people feel happy and motivated to work. This can lead to better business results and help drive sustained growth over time. It can also help to reduce levels of staff turnover and make people more likely to remain with a company whose workplace culture they enjoy. This means businesses can hang onto valued staff and use their experience to grow in the future.
Adaptability and risk-taking
There are many ways positive leadership can drive exponential commercial growth, and the ability to adapt to the current business environment is a good example. The best leaders are able to react calmly to what might be happening in their sector and quickly adapt to counter it or make the most of any opportunities this offers.
This allows effective leaders to avoid rigidly sticking to a business plan when it has become clear changing conditions mean it won’t succeed. Although strategic planning is very important in business, leaders must be able to make proactive decisions to amend any plans when needed.
Failure to do so could actually lead to financial troubles commercially and threaten the business itself. A good example of this is a business leader adapting who their core audience is for marketing campaigns when it becomes clear that audience demographics in their sector have shifted.
Risk-taking is another illustration of how positive leadership can drive commercial growth year on year. The key thing to note here is that it should always be considered risk which leaders feel has a good chance of paying off. It is never advisable in business to blindly take risks that you don’t have a good feel for first.
Measured risk-taking, though, can help an SME to expand into new products/services, new markets, or new territories to stimulate growth. If the CEO of a toy company, for example, reads that a certain country is set to be the next big market for a particular toy they produce, they may decide it is worth risking diverting resources into this territory to take advantage.
All the best leaders know that customers are critical to any future success and any kind of sustained growth. This is only common sense when you remember that any revenue companies make comes from people paying for their services, goods, or products.
Without enough customers, businesses will not be able to function, do what they need to stay operational, or expand over time. In terms of business growth, finding ways to not only reach new customers but also retain existing ones is important. Finding new customers helps to bring even more money into your firm to drive expansion, whilst retaining existing ones ensures that they continue to spend money with you rather than your competitors.
Taking a customer-centric approach therefore is crucial and something that positive leadership focuses on in terms of growth. This helps to keep customer satisfaction levels high and ensures current customers are not only happy to keep doing business with you but also tell their friends how great your company is.
Positive leadership can also help businesses engage new customers through strategies such as effective marketing campaigns, excellent customer service, and tempting special offers. This can help any firm to attract more consumers to spend money with them and lead to growth as a result.
Popular ways for business leaders to focus on a customer-centric approach are a robust onboarding program for customer service agents and regular training to help them provide quality support. They may also look at how quickly customer queries are responded to, how quickly calls are answered in customer service departments, and what their customers most value in terms of overall experience.
Effective leadership can help any SME that wants to grow exponentially and effective communication is one way it achieves this. This should not be a shock when you consider how important communication is within the business world generally and how it enables people across a company to work more effectively. Common examples of tools leaders use for effective communication include email, telephone calls, video calls, text messages, and letters.
But how can outstanding communication from leaders spark real growth moving ahead? To begin with, the language charismatic leaders use when communicating with staff can have a motivational impact. By communicating via positive words, ideas, and emotions that energize people, the best leaders are able to inspire staff and encourage staff to work toward the business’s goals. As a result, any new innovations or policies which could drive future growth are more likely to succeed.
This can also work in the same way if business leaders communicate with customers or stakeholders. By using language and images that set a positive tone, leaders are able to make the right impression and bring more people to the business to drive growth.
Of course, effective communication can also simply be a bonus in terms of leadership as it keeps everyone informed as to what is happening in an SME. This is especially useful for internal communications that keep staff in the loop and help them feel valued by management figures. This kind of focus on proper communication not only motivates people to work harder to drive business expansion but also means they know about the latest working practices which may reduce costs/increase efficiency.
Finances are a key part of any SME. Therefore, keeping a firm grip on them is crucial for commercial success. This can be especially true when looking to fuel business growth year on year, as companies will often need the financial backing to achieve this. When you consider that facilitating growth may well involve some kind of financial investment first (be it new premises, more stock, new machinery, or more staff), this makes sense.
Due to this, the financial discipline that the best leadership provides is essential. This sees senior figures in a company keeping a close eye on cash flow, expenses, income, outgoings, and financial forecasts. It can also see leaders looking at where their sector may be about to head next or how emerging trends may impact their finances in the future.
If a CEO were to note that sales of their firm’s most popular product were falling due to a drop in demand for it across the sector, for example, this could well impact the company’s financial forecasts in the coming months whilst they respond.
By keeping a firm grip on company finances and managing them in a sensible manner, leaders are able to ensure an organization remains operational and able to grow moving ahead. It also means that there is the financial stability to make any plans for growth achievable and the resources available to spark corporate development.
Although keeping a firm grip on business finance is one way excellent leadership can lead to exponential growth, this does not mean a complete ban on spending is advisable. A good example of this is how strategic investments championed by leaders can help SMEs move forward.
The key thing to remember here is that any investment opportunities must be comprehensively researched in advance and provide the expected return to help meet any strategic goals around growth. It is also essential to become familiar with how any asset you plan to invest in works and how the market in which you plan to invest functions.
Although there is always an element of risk with putting money into financial assets, sensible investing can be a great way for leaders to drive their organization forward. To begin with, successful investment helps to bring more money into the firm and increase revenues over time. Strategic investment is also useful for diversifying the income stream any SME has. This can help a firm continue to make money and remain operational if its usual income stream(s) dry up or experiences seasonal fluctuations.
Positive leadership is key for sustained business growth
In the same way as a ship cannot hope to reach its destination without a competent captain in charge, no business can ever grow exponentially without positive leadership behind it. Although there are many ways to approach business growth, effective leadership is something that is a must. Positive leaders are a valuable force in the corporate world and key figures for commercial expansion.