Online BusinessTo help your online business succeed, you’ve hired talented people to assist you with achieving your goals. How you lead your team will ultimately determine whether or not each individual and the group as a whole reaches their true potential and helps to drive your business. Leading the right way now can help you grow a successful company, so that one day when it comes time to sell the online business you can get the best possible valuation.

Here are five ways that you can motivate and lead your employees, so that everything that they do will help to drive the success of your e-commerce business.

1. Keep Your Door Open. Having an open door for your employees doesn’t mean keeping the physical door to your office open. The term refers to fostering an environment where your employees know that they can come to you to discuss their concerns and share their ideas. Encouraging communication doesn’t just involve telling your employees that they can approach you with things. You also need to demonstrate a willingness to listen nonverbally. When one of your employees does approach you, stop what you’re doing. Use active listening to show that you’re engaged in the conversation, and be sure to show appreciation for the idea, even if you don’t necessarily agree.

2. Include Your Team. The more that you include your employees in your business, the more they will work toward building it. Don’t keep small successes to yourself. Let your employees know when you have a record sales day or get a major order. Help them see how their own efforts contributed to the success and let them know how this one victory will contribute to your overall vision. The more you can get the team invested in your business and able to visualize what its success will mean for them, the harder they will work for you.

3. Be Flexible. You hired your team because each of them provides value. Don’t make the mistake of applying inflexible, rigid standards that might limit how well you use your employees. When they make suggestions and introduce new ideas, make it a point to consider them. Ask questions and approach suggestions with an open mind. At first, doing something a new or different way may not seem ideal, especially if you’re like most people and tend to resist change; however, simply dismissing new ideas can demotivate your team. It can also cause you to miss out on new strategies and innovations, potentially limiting your growth.

4. Delegate and Give Freedom. Employees want to be used to their full potential and to feel as if you believe and trust in them. Handling everything yourself and not giving any power to your employees sends a message that you don’t think they can handle it. Let go of some responsibilities. Delegate tasks to those who are capable of completing them. Give the authority to make some types of decisions to senior members of your staff rather than having them check with you before deciding everything. Employees will never rise to the occasion if you don’t give them a chance to try new things.

5. Praise and Criticize Effectively. To be a good leader, you must hand out equal amounts of praise and criticism. The key is to do both correctly. Immediately acknowledge the contributions and achievements of your employees in an appropriate manner. Sometimes, saying thanks or good job is enough, while other times something extra special like sending an email to the group or providing a reward may be called for. When you need to provide criticism, do so constructively and promptly. Address issues as they arise and do so in neutral language that explains rather than blames.

Your employees can contribute greatly to the success of your Internet business, helping you to grow a company that will one day be attractive to someone looking to buy an online business like yours. If you’re already thinking about the sale of your online business, there are many other ways that you can begin to gear your company toward a lucrative sale. Meeting with an online business broker before you intend to sell can help you identify areas of focus, so that your business will be ready when it’s time to sell.

Our team of website brokers has extensive experience helping owners get the most out of their businesses. We’d be glad to give you our expert advice and help you develop a strategy to support your successful development of your business. Contact us today to set up a consultation with one of our Internet business brokers.

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