Running and leading a successful business at any stage of development is a tough task and a challenge that not all of us are equipped to take on. The reality is, in fact, that company directors often have to endure any number of failures before they can achieve the kind of success they’ve been aiming for. But whether you are an experienced business leader or a novice director, there is always scope for improvement and focussing on the real issues is always essential.
With that in mind, here are 7 tips for becoming successful as a company director:
1 – Set the right goals
We will start with what is perhaps an obvious one to emphasise the point that without an ability to prioritise and plan strategically for the future, no company director can really hope to meet with much success. Clarity of vision helps bring colleagues and counterparts onto the same page and while flexibility is also important, goal-setting matters enormously in the context of operating and leading a business of any size.
2 – Learn advanced level accounting skills
There is no hiding place from an unfavourable or a particularly disastrous bottom line but a high level of accounting and budgeting skill can help directors steer their companies through choppy financial waters. And, once acquired, advanced financial management skills can stand a director in very good stead for their entire career.
3 – Hone your communication skills
Every company director needs to be able to communicate effectively with a wide array of
stakeholders, colleagues and employees. The better you can become at getting points across concisely and with clarity, the more effective you are likely to be as a business leader. Of particular focus in this context should be the way in which you are able to communicate with clients, who always want to know that their concerns are being recognised and addressed. Similarly, when it comes to negotiating under any set of circumstances, a director ought to be able to lead from the front and ensure favourable terms for their company.
4 – Learn to invest wisely
This is of course far more easily said than done but it is vital for directors to be able to spot and act upon investment opportunities whenever they arise. The key is to focus on investments in products and services that stand a good chance of increasing profits and delivering worthwhile returns in the longer term. An ability to make the right investment choices at the right moments is a key attribute for a business director regardless of the scale involved.
5 – Protect your reputation with creditors and suppliers
No company director or organisation can exist in a vacuum and good relations with creditors and suppliers are very often integral to the smooth running and effective operating of any kind of business. A company’s credit rating should be guarded with great seriousness and dedication because bad habits can spread and financial difficulties have a horrible habit of spiralling beyond control. Supplier arrangements should also be taken seriously by company directors in the sense that keeping relevant third parties as motivated as possible can make a big difference in terms of the level of service received. Finding ways to create stability and a close understanding between all contractors
and service providers can also help maintain progress when things are going well and soften some of the blows when difficulties arise.
6 – Be proactive about outreach
Responsibility for maintaining a steady supply of business by no means rests entirely with a company director but a proactive approach at the top can make a significant contribution to effective lead generation. A good director will have a strong understanding of the importance of effective advertising and for business-to-business operators, the role of individual directors themselves can be a vital part of the broader picture.
7 – Motivate your employees
It does not take Warren Buffet to realise that a well-motivated workforce is more likely to strive to offer their best than a poorly-motivated equivalent. Building employee morale in any way possible should therefore be a consistent priority for any company director keen to see his or her business move forward and deliver sustainable success.
Mark joined the Begbies Traynor Group at the creation of Red Flag Alert and is now in his 10th year with the business. Mark is a sales professional and has enjoyed a varied career in sales and marketing. He is a fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing, having previously worked in financial services across a range of divisions including both personal and corporate finance and treasury services for a major bank.