APPRENTICE star and vice-chairperson of West Ham FC Karren Brady answers all your career questions.
Today she shares her top tips on being a good manager and doing business with friends.
Q) I was recently promoted to a managerial position and now head up a new team in the business. However, I’ve not been offered any management training and I’m finding it stressful to complete my own work, oversee my team’s output and be the person with all the answers when my team come to me with problems.
Have you got any advice about how to be a good manager?
Tilly, via email
A) Firstly, congratulations on your promotion! It can be difficult when you have to manage not only yourself but a whole team, plus the stress and pressure that comes with that.
My first tip for being a good manager is brilliant communication. Tell your team what you expect of them, what their priorities are, the processes you want to put in place (and why they are important) and how they should communicate problems.
Be consistent, and don’t be afraid to make changes to processes you think can be improved. Motivate your team by respecting them, listening to their ideas, giving them opportunities to lead projects, and providing feedback in a candid but positive way.
Creating a positive team culture is vital and you can do this by giving regular performance updates and feedback sessions, making sure everyone understands their roles, and sorting out any issues in a fair and professional way.
Remember the things your previous managers did – things you did and didn’t like – and think about how you can do more of the good things and none of the bad! It’s also worth asking the company for some management training. All of this will lead to your own self-development and progression through the company.
Bossing It is Fabulous’ series about ordinary women who have launched incredible businesses.
It aims to inspire other women and show that if these ladies can do it, so can you!
Read more at Thesun.co.uk/topic/bossing-it.
Q) My friend and I are both into crafting, and after I made some products for her Etsy shop, she asked me what I thought about launching a business together, at first alongside our current part-time jobs, but with a view to us growing the business so we can both work on it full-time.
I’m so excited about the prospect, but I’m also worried about how it might affect our friendship – she is a really good mate and I would hate to lose that. Is there a way to keep our professional relationship separate from our friendship?
Susan, via email
A) The good news is that great friends can make great business partners – you like and trust each other already, so that’s a good start! Before you set the business up, you need to have a candid and honest conversation and put some ground rules in place.
It might be helpful to put this in writing, not for legal purposes, but to have a written note of the structure of the business, which of you is responsible for which aspects, and what your end goal for the business is. This way you have an agreed set of targets.
Most conflicts in business arise when you can’t agree on key decisions, like finance and investment, so it’s good to decide in advance what you will do if, for example, you want to expand the business and take on extra debt, but your friend doesn’t.
I think it’s important that you remain open with each other, so set aside regular times for you to discuss how the business is going, what you think you can improve, and how/when you should both go full-time. Good luck!
- Got a careers question you want Karren to answer? Email [email protected]
- Karren cannot answer emails personally. Content is intended as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice
- Compiled by: Claire Frost
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