To achieve true success, whether that means financially or simply being happy with what you’re doing on a day to day basis, you have to look within yourself, follow your passions and trust in your own skills and talents.
This act of honest introspection leads many people to start their own business. And many find that through hard work, desire and a refusal to give in, they achieve far greater things than they could if they were still working for others.
One of the main keys to success when running a business of any kind is motivation. In this guide, we’ll look at effective ways to motivate yourself and your workforce.
The Importance Of Self-Motivation
Unless you already have a ready source of capital to work from, most startup businesses begin small and then grow steadily and securely into something much bigger.
You may begin as a sole trader, doing all the roles yourself.
That means you have to be everything from a designer to an accountant, a salesman, a marketer, and an order packer.
It can be very rewarding, but it will certainly involve long hours and can be frustrating and tiring. Especially in the early stages of a business when cash may seem to be flowing out more than it flows in.
At this point, self-motivation can mean the difference between the long-term success of your business or its short-term failure.
When you’re motivated you can cope with the setbacks that inevitably occur to a startup business and see them as what they really are: temporary problems on the path to eventual success.
How to Motivate Yourself
Understanding the importance of self-motivation is the first step towards long-term business growth and sustainability, but how do you motivate yourself?
The key to this is to have a positive attitude and to take a long-term rather than short-term view.
Many of the greatest business leaders, who have gone on to be rich and influential beyond their early dreams, encountered problems that nearly made them quit, but they endured and succeeded.
Never concentrate on the small immediate concerns more than on the long-term targets.
Take time every morning to think about what you want to achieve in five and ten years’ time.
Do you want a business with a million dollar plus turnover, that employs people and makes a real contribution to your community, as well as providing great products or services to the public?
All these are achievable with hard work and passion and keeping your eye on this greater goal can help to motivate you when the going gets temporarily tough.
The Importance of Motivating and Inspiring Others
Self-motivation, dedication, and a readiness to work hard and overcome obstacles gives you a great chance to grow your business to the point where you will need to employ other people.
It’s now even more important to keep your own confidence and motivation at peak levels, as your staff will look to you for leadership and inspiration.
If they see that you love your product and are proud of what the company does, then it’s much more likely that they will feel the same. And a motivated worker is one that is prepared to work harder, and one that is prepared to do overtime or start early when the need arises.
In short, a motivated workforce is the most important and valuable asset that any business can have, so let’s take a look at how you can motivate your staff, whether you employ five people or five hundred people.
Related: The Ultimate List of Extremely Effective Ways to Motivate Employees
It seems obvious that workers want fair pay for the work that they do, but it can sometimes be forgotten by business leaders, or given less importance than it should.
As an entrepreneur, you may have worked long hours for little or no income at the start of your business, but you can’t expect employees to do the same.
The key to providing fair pay is to think of each worker as an individual rather than a number on a spreadsheet.
It can also be tempting to pay the least remuneration possible so that overheads are kept low, but this is a false economy.
Workers who are paid well will work harder and feel connected to the company they are employed by, whereas those who earn just enough to get by will also frequently do only enough work to get by without being disciplined.
Well-paid workers can, therefore, equal greater productivity and, eventually, greater profitability.
Studies have shown that whilst pay is important to workers, they also like to be well-trained and they like to learn new skills.
This is great news for you as a business leader, as it not only means that you acquire a more skilled and flexible workforce, it’s also a great way to keep your employees motivated.
Training can take many forms, of course, and it can cover subjects that may be particularly relevant to your business.
This can mean IT and computing skills, for example, or customer service training for those who are in public-facing roles. Training is especially welcomed by staff when they receive a qualification or other certification at the end of it, and this personal improvement can often be just as valued as a pay rise or bonus.
Emotional Intelligence Training
Communication is vital in any business, and that means both communicating with customers and potential customers and communicating with their fellow workers.
When your workforce is pulling together, great things can be achieved, but discord within a company can slow progress and damage productivity.
That’s why emotional intelligence is so important within a workforce, and why businesses who utilize emotional intelligence training for their employees can soon find a marked improvement in their bottom line.
You can discover emotional intelligence training options via this link. Expert training in emotional intelligence is good for workers of all levels, including the business owner, as it teaches positive communication, leadership skills, relationship management and personal growth; these are all vital skills for any business in any sector.
Job Titles That Make Your Workers Proud
Good pay and the opportunity to train and learn are vital elements of staff motivation but giving employees recognition for a great job done is just as important.
This can come in the form of a bonus, or an ‘employee of the month’ award, or even a personal acknowledgment and thank you from the business owner.
It’s also been shown that job titles can be motivational. So if you have particular staff members who excel and who are prepared to go the extra mile, it can be worth considering giving them a more senior job title that reflects that.
Proud employees are happy employees, and happiness within a workforce can be infectious.
There’s no denying that today’s business world is highly competitive. But being highly motivated yourself and having highly motivated workers will greatly improve your prospects of taking on and defeating business rivals.
Fair, positive and open communication and emotional intelligence is at the heart of this, as is providing fair pay and the opportunities to be trained and promoted or given a new job title.
Always be on the lookout for ways to motivate your staff even further, and always keep yourself motivated by focusing on your long-term goals.