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Why Entrepreneurs Should Eliminate the Word ‘Manager’ From Their Vocabulary

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why you need to stop using the word manager
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There aren’t many words that I actively dislike, but “manager” is definitely one of them. In the business world, it’s a title meant to carry a weight of importance. The problem is that it neither accurately describes what people in that role do nor does it signal the empowering qualities crucial for overseeing a team. Let me break it down for you.

There are two primary definitions of the word “manage” in the Oxford English Dictionary. The first is to be in charge of a business, an organization, or an undertaking. The other is to succeed in surviving or in achieving something despite difficult circumstances — in other words, to cope.

Isn’t it interesting that one has a seemingly positive theme while the other is all about merely getting by? For many employees who work under a manager, there’s a feeling of simply surviving the experience of working under the conditions created and controlled by that person. And when that manager is grossly ineffective or incompetent, coping is certainly a strategy that many employees adopt.

You’ve likely heard the saying “people leave managers, not companies.” There’s something to that. One 2018 report found that those who don’t think their supervisors are high performers are four times more likely to be on the hunt for a new job. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Managing and Leading Are Two Different Things

Without any other context, which of the following situations sounds like it will have better overall outcomes: A team that’s managed well or a team that’s led well? Think about it this way: Do you want to work for a great manager or a great leader?

In the hierarchy of organizational business language, the role of a leader is often above that of manager. But what if anyone in charge of a team — regardless of its size within an organization — operated as a leader, rather than a manager? Getting those in management roles to understand the difference is a good first step to creating the positive company culture that propels the best companies forward.

Using the term “manager” too often gives people with that title the wrong signals for how they should lead their charges — that, in order to be a good manager, you have to control or operate every detail. Ineffective managers set narrow parameters for their employees to operate within, then critique and correct along the way.

People want to be trusted and empowered, and a joint study found that employees would take more responsibility for engagement if their companies had compelling missions, strong relationships, and well-designed jobs. The best supervisors are ones who embody their roles as leaders. The best leaders inspire and motivate their people while communicating visions of where they want their teams to go.

Ideally, leaders divide their time between coaching, setting goals, and guiding the group toward big-picture achievements. Managers, meanwhile, spend too much time stuck in the details of the moment.

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” – John Maxwell

The Smaller the Team, the Bigger the Problem

The effects of a manager mentality are only amplified in a small business setting, where meddling is simply not conducive to success. If a company is especially small, the owner may be the only person in the chain of command above a small set of employees. If that owner loses focus and begins overmanaging the staff, that business could be doomed before it ever has a chance to succeed.

With a small team, a business needs everyone to wear more than one hat and cover more ground per person in order to stay competitive. Instead of supervisors being seen as managers, they should be seen as coordinators. Coordinators connect people, projects, and initiatives. They set parameters while also receiving input from members of the team.

3 Reasons to Keep ‘Managers’ Out of Your Business:

Before you establish roles and responsibilities for your small business, reconsider your plans for middle management. Here are the three biggest reasons why the term “manager” shouldn’t appear anywhere in your chain of command:

1. It leads employees into a defensive position

People don’t want their lives outside of work managed by someone else, so why should we expect a different reaction to the same concept inside the office? Language matters, and the term “manager” comes with negative connotations that can put staff members into an uncomfortable position, no matter the circumstance. When employees have a manager, they expect that person will always critique and micromanage their daily duties.

Although employees don’t want their lives to be managed by someone else, they still appreciate guidance and structure. That’s where a leader comes in. Strong leadership inspires people to bring out the best of themselves with an eye toward tomorrow. It engages employees to bring their whole selves to work while influencing positive results.

“A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Corporate language breaks down the atmosphere

Clear communication is crucial for effective leadership. So why introduce jargon in your workspace? Business buzzwords are not only confusing, but also annoying and draining. Corporate language tends to eat away at enthusiasm and the important autonomy that employees feel while they’re working toward a shared goal.

When employees feel like they’re being heard, they’re nearly five times more likely to feel inspired to do their best work, according to a report by Salesforce. Why muddy the waters? Create an environment where thoughts flow freely and employees feel like they’re positioned to make the most of their days at the office.

3. The term sets the bar too low for entrepreneurs

According to a survey of small business owners, the number one motivator for starting a company is the appeal of being your own boss. You didn’t start your company to become a manager. Using that term only limits how you’ll grow your team and, by extension, your company.

People get into the game of entrepreneurship to lead talented people toward an exciting set of goals. If the role of manager doesn’t inspire the founder to go the extra mile, how will it help inspire employees? The short answer: It won’t.

Ultimately, you want your supervisors to lead and coordinate rather than control. Eliminating the word “manager” from your vocabulary can help you keep employees’ spirits higher, keep everyone more connected, and set yourself up for greater success. Taking your business to the top is no easy task, but using the right words is a small step that can make a big difference.

What do you think about eliminating the word ‘manager’ from your vocabulary? Is it necessary or no? Share your thoughts below!

Alex Haimann is partner and head of business development at Less Annoying CRM, a simple CRM built from the ground up for small businesses. Thousands of small businesses use LACRM to manage contacts, track leads, and stay on top of follow-ups. Alex ensures LACRM continues to grow by engaging customers and finding new opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships. Follow Alex on Twitter at @alexhaimann.

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Entrepreneurs

How Entrepreneurs Are Harnessing LLCs to Launch Successful Startups

LLCs have unique advantages for starting up and growing a successful business

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why you should set up an LLC

In my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve learned that LLCs have unique advantages for starting up and growing a successful business. But, before delving into the advantages, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of what an LLC is and how it operates. 

What is an LLC?

An LLC is a hybrid business entity that combines the liability protection of a corporation with the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship. This unique blend provides entrepreneurs with the best of both worlds: personal asset protection and simplified taxation.

One of the most significant advantages of an LLC is its limited liability feature. This means that as the owner, my personal assets are shielded from any liabilities or debts incurred by the business.

In the event of lawsuits or financial obligations, only the assets of the LLC are at risk, offering me peace of mind and protecting my personal wealth.

Advantages of Forming an LLC

Flexibility in Management and Structure

Another aspect of the LLC that appealed to me was its flexibility in management and structure. Unlike corporations, which have rigid hierarchies and formalities, LLCs allow for a more relaxed approach to governance. As the founder, I have the freedom to structure the company in a way that suits the needs and goals of my startup.

For instance, LLCs can choose to be managed by their members (owners) or appoint a manager to oversee operations. This flexibility enables me to maintain full control of the business or delegate management responsibilities to trusted individuals while retaining ownership.

Additionally, LLCs are not bound by strict meeting requirements or extensive record-keeping obligations, reducing administrative burdens and allowing me to focus on building and growing the business.

Pass-Through Taxation and Financial Efficiency

One of the most attractive features of an LLC, particularly for startups, is its pass-through taxation. Unlike corporations, which are subject to double taxation (taxation at both the corporate and individual levels), LLCs pass profits and losses directly to their members’ personal tax returns.

This tax efficiency not only simplifies the filing process but also allows for greater flexibility in managing cash flow and reinvesting profits back into the business. As an entrepreneur, minimizing tax liabilities and maximizing financial efficiency are critical components of long-term success, and the pass-through taxation feature of an LLC aligns perfectly with these objectives.

Enhanced Credibility and Professionalism

Establishing an LLC can also enhance the credibility and professionalism of a startup. Unlike sole proprietorships or general partnerships, which may be perceived as informal or less legitimate, an LLC provides a formal business structure that instills confidence in customers, investors, and partners.

By operating under the umbrella of an LLC, I can present my startup as a reputable and established entity, which can open doors to opportunities such as securing financing, attracting top talent, and forging strategic partnerships.

This enhanced credibility can be a significant advantage, particularly in competitive industries or when seeking to differentiate my startup in the market.

Protection of Intellectual Property and Brand Assets

For startups built around innovative ideas or unique intellectual property, protecting these assets is paramount. An LLC offers an additional layer of protection for intellectual property and brand assets, safeguarding them from infringement or unauthorized use.

By registering trademarks, copyrights, or patents under the name of the LLC, I can establish legal ownership and enforce my rights more effectively in the event of disputes or infringement claims. This protection not only preserves the value of my intellectual property but also enhances the overall stability and longevity of the startup.

Steps to Form an LLC

Let us now look at the general steps to form an LLC for your business:

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

Selecting a unique and distinguishable name is the first step in forming an LLC. Ensure that the name you choose complies with the rules set by your state’s LLC division. Typically, the name must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or an abbreviation of these terms.

Additionally, the name should not infringe on the trademarks of existing businesses.

Step 2: Designate a Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual or entity appointed to receive legal documents, such as lawsuits or subpoenas, on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent must have a physical address within the state where the LLC is formed.

For instance, if you are forming an LLC in Texas, ensure that your registered agent has a physical address in Texas.

This role is crucial for ensuring that the LLC remains compliant with legal requirements and maintains good standing.

Step 3: File Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization, also known as a Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization in some states, is a document that formally establishes the LLC. You’ll need to submit this document to the appropriate state agency, usually the Secretary of State or Division of Corporations.

The articles typically include basic information such as the LLC’s name, address, registered agent details, and the purpose of the business.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

While not always a legal requirement, drafting an operating agreement is highly recommended for LLCs. This document outlines the ownership structure, management roles, voting rights, profit-sharing arrangements, and other important aspects of the LLC’s operations.

Even if you’re the sole owner of the LLC, having an operating agreement in place can help clarify expectations and prevent disputes in the future.

Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your LLC for tax purposes.

Even if your LLC doesn’t have employees, obtaining an EIN is necessary for opening a business bank account, filing taxes, and conducting other financial transactions.

Step 6: Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

Depending on the nature of your business and its location, you may need to obtain various permits, licenses, or certifications to operate legally. These requirements can vary widely from one industry and jurisdiction to another. Common examples include business licenses, zoning permits, health permits, and professional licenses.

In my entrepreneurial journey, the decision to establish my startups as LLCs has been instrumental in mitigating risks, optimizing financial performance, and positioning my ventures for long-term success.

By harnessing the advantages of the LLC structure, I’ve been able to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship with confidence and resilience, laying the groundwork for a bright and prosperous future.

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Entrepreneurs

Build a Strong IT Team with These Smart Hiring Tips

Without dedicated IT staff, your company may not be able to function as efficiently or effectively

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Hiring tips for tech industry

The role of IT staff in your company is not only essential but also ever-evolving. As your business grows, so does the need for qualified IT staff and more robust recruiting solutions.

After all, from maintaining and troubleshooting the computer systems that keep your business running smoothly, IT staff also help employees stay connected and productive by providing technical support at all times. (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

5 Important Legal Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

With a firm commitment to legal knowledge, you pave the way to grow your business sustainably

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legal tips for entrepreneurs

Embarking on the entrepreneurial path is a courageous venture that calls for a diverse skill set to achieve enduring success.

While creativity, drive, and strategic vision are paramount, integrating legal insight into your entrepreneurial toolkit can be a game-changer.

This comprehensive guide delves deeper into the five critical steps that can empower you to navigate the intricate legal landscape and propel your venture toward prosperity. (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

6 Hacks to Boost Your Productivity as a Business Owner

To improve how much you get done each day, it’s smart to establish routines and use careful planning

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productivity for business owners

Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to get more done with the time and resources they have. Business owners can use clever productivity tricks to break these limits and make the most of their projects. (more…)

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