This is part of the “Moving Forward” series offering advice to small business owners on technology, mentorship, productivity, and growth. “Moving Forward” is sponsored by Ink from Chase®. More posts in the series »
Small-business leaders are responsible for setting a business direction that helps their companies compete with much bigger corporations. They then have to assemble a team that will help them carry out that mission.
It’s no small task. To learn the secrets of those who’ve done it successfully, we asked five of the leaders that were named to Glassdoor’s list of the “25 Highest Rated CEOs at Small and Mid-Sized Companies” to share their best advice for small-business owners.
Scroll down for their responses.
Intacct provides businesses with financial management and account services. Reid ranked first on Glassdoor's list, with a 100% employee approval rating.
Reid recommends that small-business CEOs create a compelling mission and instill their company's values into their employees. This can be maintained by creating quarterly objectives for every employee. 'Hold people accountable for their objectives, because the fabric of the company is woven through the results of all,' Reid says.
Fusion-io is a computer hardware and software company that provides businesses with services like cloud computing and big data collection. Robison ranked No. 15 on Glassdoor's list, with an 89% approval rating.
'I love the quote: 'Enough about me, let's talk about you … What do you think about me?'' Robinson says, joking about managers' tendency to become self-centered and micromanage their companies. 'The truth is that it's not all about you -- engage great people to help.'
DocuSign provides e-signature and digital transaction management software to over 95,000 companies of various sizes. Larger clients include HP, Red Bull, and Yahoo. Krach ranked No. 20 on the list, with an 82% approval rating.
Krach recommends that entrepreneurs and executives follow their passion, because their energy will be contagious. 'People can deny your logic, but they can never deny your enthusiasm,' Krach said.
'The best piece of advice I'd give to other small-business owners would be to surround yourself with the right people,' Nguyen says. 'As a bootstrapped startup we built the company from the bottom up. This was fundamental to our success in the early years. However, the business really started to thrive after we brought in an experienced team and started building the company top down.'
Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) provides business analytics software to large corporations like Starbucks, Kraft Foods, and the Royal Bank of Canada. Bruce ranked second on the list, with a 100% approval rating.
'I'll give away our secret at APT,' Bruce says. 'We look for team members who are really smart, work really hard, and work really well with other people. All three are critical, particularly the third. It may be tempting to think excellence is not required in a given role, but to become a great place that can attract, grow, and build the careers of world-class talent, you should never compromise a focus on people.'
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