Essential Skills For EVERY eLearning SMB Owner
Being the owner of an eLearning SMB is a challenging task. You are the person who will be praised for its success but also held accountable for its failures. It takes a special set of skills to be able to not only run a small business but also keep it thriving. In this article, you will find out what those skills are and how you can create a strong team dynamic within your eLearning business.
6 Skills EVERY eLearning SMB Owner Should Cultivate
When you own a small eLearning business, you have to take on an array of different day-to-day responsibilities all on your own. Having practical knowledge regarding your particular niche and line of work is crucial, but it takes more. For your eLearning SMB to flourish, you need certain skills that cannot be taught but can only be cultivated over time. Let’s see what those are and why they are important.
Successful business owners know that organizational skills are crucial, as they save you time and reduce stress. An eLearning SMB—like any other business, for that matter—is made up of countless moving parts. From everyday tasks to employees, contact information, meetings, and financial responsibilities, someone needs to make sure that everything runs like clockwork. And that someone is you. So, if you want your business to deliver on its promises, thus bringing in new clients, make sure that you have all your tasks and information in order.
Communication is crucial in taking your eLearning SMB to the next level. Having the ability to effectively and concisely convey your message to your team and your clients is the foundation of a successful business. Good communication skills can also help you draw in new leads and build beneficial and long-lasting relationships with people who could be important for your business. However, don’t forget that communicating is equal parts listening and talking. Giving your employees and clients space to express any frustrations or observations will help you offer better services and improve your business overall.
Owning a business automatically makes you a leader. But what makes an eLearning SMB owner a good leader? A business is a sum of its parts. When a group of diverse personalities with different lives gets up to go to work every day, they need to have a clear and solid purpose to get behind. The strength of a leader is measured by their ability to bring inspiration to their purpose. They must be able to keep their vision at the forefront and incentivize their team to strive for its completion and continuous betterment. Leaders are also responsible for preserving a strong work ethic of moral, hard work, and dedication, as they lead by example. This ensures a long-lasting and organic team of employees who are sure to bring in the best results.
4. Time Management
There are only so many hours in a day and there is so much to do when you own a business. Making phone calls, managing employees, designing content, attending meetings…the responsibilities just never end. So, if you want your eLearning SMB to grow, time management is essential. In order to be able to do that, you need to estimate and meet deadlines as well as delegate tasks to the people who can complete them most efficiently. You can even outsource projects or processes if that time could be used elsewhere. Ultimately, time is the only resource you can never get back!
5. Lateral Thinking
One of the greatest challenges of being in business is the unpredictability of it all. Anything could go wrong at any moment. In fact, almost every day is a new chance for eLearning SMB owners to hone their problem-solving skills. Successful business people are quick-thinking and can make fast decisions to adapt to any sudden changes in the market. Sometimes, problem-solving requires some proactivity. That is planning ahead for a potential problem or taking precautions so that an issue never arises again.
Lateral thinking goes hand in hand with creativity, which is a truly underappreciated entrepreneurial skill. Especially in the eLearning field, the only businesses that can hope for enduring success are those with innovative ideas. But, also, inventive ways to tackle unexpected problems. So, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Look for fresh ideas and propose solutions that have never been applied before. Who knows? You may discover the next best thing!
6. Emotional Intelligence
We have all heard about a leader who is a “people-person” or just has great social skills. Usually, those are the people we would say have high emotional intelligence (EQ). They are the people who can attune themselves to other people’s emotions, an ability that makes them great at conflict resolution. They also have the ability to practice control over their own emotions. For example, if they are in a stressful situation, they can remain calm and figure out a solution instead of lashing out at their team. All in all, a leader with high EQ can carry themselves with confidence, inspire their team, and create a safe and balanced work environment.
6 Tips To Build A Strong Team Dynamic In Your eLearning Business
In recent years, the importance of teams within a business has risen substantially. The main reason for that is the benefits that synergy brings. Groups can make better decisions and bring in better results than an individual working alone. However, for a group to be productive, they need to be close together and collaborate organically. Here are some tips on building a strong team dynamic for your eLearning SMB.
1. Establish Goal Clarity
A good leader knows that for a team to operate, they need to have a clear set of goals they can work toward. So before thinking about improving your team, work on defining your purpose. Goal clarity keeps the team working in the same direction and basing their decisions on whether they promote the goal or not. This will allow the group to make unhindered decisions without having to constantly consult you, thus promoting efficiency. Of course, there will be times when an issue is more complicated and will require you to step in, but it will happen considerably less often.
2. Promote Open Communication
Communication is key in building a strong team dynamic. The members of your team must feel confident to speak their minds and support their ideas. Promote regular group discussions where they can exchange new ideas, projects, and feedback. You, as a leader, also need to be part of the discussion. Ask for and offer feedback on an individual and group level. This way, issues can be quickly addressed and resolved. Not to mention everyone will know where they stand and if their performance is satisfactory. At the end of the day, effective communication builds strong relationships and an even stronger business.
3. Respect And Empower
It’s natural to want your employees to feel a part of the team, but don’t forget each and every one of them is an individual with their own personality. So, if you want everyone to perform well within the group, you must respect and honor them for their unique abilities. This will prompt them to respect each other as well, promoting a supportive and safe work environment. It is also important that your team feel empowered to make decisions regarding their work. Of course, it is up to you to know when a team is ready to take on such responsibility so that your eLearning SMB doesn’t suffer the consequences of a bad decision.
4. Set Clear Roles And Responsibilities
Does everyone on your team know exactly what their roles and responsibilities are? Can they describe every other team member’s role? If your team can do that, it means that they have a clear idea of what is expected from them as well as every other member of the team. Keeping everyone’s place in the team distinct means that no one is stepping on someone else’s toes and everyone feels appreciated. It also helps your team know who to turn to for help depending on the challenge they are facing. This all increases group efficiency and collaboration.
5. Use A Reward And Accountability System
Preaching to your team about teamwork is only going to get you so far. For your team to actually believe in working together, they need to be held accountable (or rewarded, of course) for their combined performance. We can’t expect people to work together for a common cause, only to be judged individually when performance assessment time comes around. This could have an adverse outcome, with everyone trying to promote themselves instead of the team. Therefore, assess employees on their personal as well as their team contribution. This way, everyone will understand that teamwork matters and that the better team players they are, the more they will be rewarded.
As a leader, it is important to remember when building your eLearning SMB that your team can only benefit from diversity. It is up to you to define what “diversity” means. It could refer to different ages, backgrounds, experiences, opinions, cultures, genders, etc. All that matters is to make sure that your employees feel like they are a part of a welcoming and non-judgmental environment that supports innovation and breaking the norms. You can benefit from diversity too, as it will ensure that your decisions and the content you offer are always well informed.
Being an eLearning SMB owner is challenging. It requires you to have developed soft skills and have a strong team by your side. You can always find strength in numbers, and your eLearning SMB can only be as strong as the team that makes it up. As it is easy to slip up at times, it is vital to keep an open mind so that you can realize if your entrepreneurial skills need improvement. Hopefully, these tips will help you become a great leader and build a “dream team” that will take your business further than you could ever imagine.
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