How to Manage People Effectively – 4 Tips for Small Business Owners

people management tips

How to manage people effectively?

As a small business owner one of the most challenging aspects of running a business besides cost cutting is managing people. Running a small business can be difficult simply because you cannot do everything (obviously) and getting other people to do things for you the way you want them to is far from easy.

The key to success is the ability to manage people effectively. Here are 4 tips to help you along the way…

Communicate Clearly

The first step to succeeding at team work and group dynamics is clear communication. Let people know exactly what you expect, quantify results, set deadlines and if possible let them know what is at stake. If you are fashion designer then let your tailor know you want a great fit, you need the outfit ready by (which date) and also let him know how crucial sticking to deadlines will be.

Reward and Punish

Most times people fail to deliver or gives us what we are looking for simply because we there is no penalty for inefficiency. If the big daddy’s of the pizza business give us free pizzas in case they fail to deliver within half an hour isn’t there something we should learn from this?

Reward and punish to achieve what you set out to. Rewarding employees for efficiency will boost productivity and punishing them for inefficiency will ensure that work gets done and there are fewer mistakes made.


One big reason why people fail in life and business is because they fail to delegate. One person cannot do everything; you don’t have the talent, ability, time, energy or skills to do everything so delegate tasks that you cannot do to others.

Identify what it is that you and only you can do and give the rest to other people. If design is your forte then do those only leave the handcrafting to an artisan. The key to successful delegation is the ability to recognize who is better than you and at what. A good leader is one who takes people who are better than him in his team and motivates them to give their best.


Once you give a task to someone make sure you let them know that you trust them completely. Whenever I give someone something to do I let them know that after entrusting the task to them, I have stopped worrying about it. That is my way of letting them know… I trust you.

If that person lets you down there is a risk but at least you’ll know that you cannot work with them in future. Building trust in relationships at work is important so make sure you invest time and effort in this.

Another great way of getting people to work better is partnering with them. I’ll take you through the nitty gritty of successful partnering in my next post.

About author

Mariam Noronha
Mariam Noronha 100 posts

Dr. Mariam Noronha is a staff writer for who is also a teacher with over thirteen years of teaching experience. She has taught a wide range of management related subjects and has authored and presented papers at national and international seminars and conferences. An avid reader, researcher and writer; she has authored numerous articles in the copy writing, fiction, web writing and travel writing genre. She has a PhD in Business Administration. Mariam blogs for a number of business blogs and provides consultancy to aspiring entrepreneurs with regard to business planning, branding, product development and promotion.

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  • Sarah,

    Well said – one of the reasons I stop working for a boss is that regardless of my hard work, I still get paid the same like others who (I feel) not working as hard as and not performing as well as I did. Yes, “special perks” are a must in retaining great, hard working talents.

  • One of the most important things a company can do for morale is to pay attention to and address situations where employees aren’t pulling their weight. Hard-working, dedicated employees shouldn’t have to put up with being treated the same as the slackers — all it does is show them their hard work isn’t being appreciated and show them that they’d be making the same amount of money for a lot less work — which kills morale.