Use Common Sense in Business Management

Some say that managing a business these days is more difficult than ever. Nevertheless, a little common sense still goes a long way in the business world. Here are several basic precepts that owners and managers can rely on in the current economic climate:

  • Remain open to constructive criticism. Learn and grow from your mistakes and the errors of others. Be prepared to accept the role of being a leader, including taking responsibility for those working for you.
  • Be sensible, but take calculated risks when the situation calls for it. Identify opportunities and act on them before the window closes.
  • Remember that it is more about the team than it is about you. Stressing teamwork creates an atmosphere conducive to success.
  • Maximize your workday. That may mean planning to do more than you think you can accomplish in a day, getting to work a little earlier than usual and leaving late, and taking better advantage of downtime. But do not emphasize quantity over quality.
  • Develop a schedule for each day and stick to it. Use all the electronic tools at your disposal to help you do your job better and faster. Set priorities and meet them before day’s end.
  • Focus your attention on the most important matters. Do not be distracted by petty rivalries or imagined slights. When possible, avoid being bogged down in “office politics.”
  • Get the most you can out of meetings. Take the feedback you receive and act on it. Don’t automatically dismiss the opinions of those in lower positions.
  • Identify those activities that steal valuable time from your busy schedule. Try to eliminate them or at least reduce their impact on your regular routine. Learn to say “no” to unreasonable demands on your time.
  • Be punctual. Do not keep people waiting for appointments and meetings. Respond to e-mail correspondence within a reasonable time period.
  • When the situation calls for it, lead by example. There will be times when you will need to roll up your sleeves and pitch in. Place value on every job being performed in the workplace.
  • Provide instruction instead of simply ordering people around. You will find that this method produces better results and may accomplish your objectives.
  • Include other staff members in your plans. Let them know what you are doing, why you are doing it and how they can contribute to the efforts.
  • Delegate. Time management is essential. You cannot be expected to do every job, no matter how much you would like to. Show trust in workers who have earned it.

Better business management is an art, not a science. Those who exhibit common sense are more likely to be successful.