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AFN’s Guide to Good Management

The work of an entrepreneur is never done. There’s cash flow to supply, websites to design, marketing to launch, and product development to worry about. In the middle of it all is management.


Management can easily get lost in the shuffle. At most companies – especially small businesses – management is something you put on the back burner. You may promise yourself you’ll revisit your duties in this department when there’s nothing else to do, but let’s face it, in an entrepreneurial environment, there is always something else to do.


Unfortunately, your daily operations are management-dependent. Failure to realize that fact will cost you. It will cost you productivity, clientele, and support staff. The only way to keep “good people” surrounding you is to make management a priority. It all starts with something you already have: the people who make your business run.


We’ve come up with the four covenants to effective management:

  1. People come first. We tend to forget that the activities we are so preoccupied with rely on the people performing them. This misstep in prioritization is the first sign that there is trouble ahead for your business. Your staff is the face and function of your business. They meet and interact with clients, make sure operations are running smoothly, and bring areas of improvement to your attention. They are valuable. Let them know that and you will see increased productivity, diligence, and a better quality of work.
  2. Managing is collaborative, not regulatory. Too little independence can be as bad as too much. Successful managerial relationships have to be balanced in order to be productive. As a manager, it’s your job to support your employees and help them improve in their positions. Let them know what you expect and show them how they can accomplish those expectations. Other than that, step aside and let them show you what they’re capable of. It’s their chance to prove they are an asset to your company.
  3. Lead by example. Leadership is a popular topic amongst entrepreneurs. Its popularity is partially due to the fact that you wear so many hats in the entrepreneurial role. The key to good leadership is to always be a living example of the practices and expectations you hold dear. If you do it, your employees will too.
  4. Remember, use common sense, customer values, and positive reinforcement. Sometimes, good management is a mental thing. These three concepts prove that they are also easily overlooked in the business of life. Your customers will tell you what they want and like; all you have to do is remember to ask. You will tell your employees the conduct you expect by the behavior you allow. Once you’ve established a dialogue with both parties, run everything you hear through a filter of common sense before putting it into practice.

Following these guidelines will create employee cohesion, positive energy, and engaged, dedicated customer relationships. Well-managed fun is how you create sustainability in business.

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