Your management style can have a lot to do with your success in running a food truck business. People debate all day long about which is the best management style to use in different situations. One thing people will agree on, if you get it right (or wrong) it can have a big effect on the success of your mobile empire.
Often, management is used interchangeably with “leadership”, although there have been several differentiations made between managers and leaders.
Management and leadership are two different things, but they should always be discussed together. One way to make the distinction is to know what makes a leader different from a manager. A manager manages tasks, while a leader leads people. Leaders have people following their lead, while managers have people working for them.
Finding The Best Management Style For Your Food Truck
There are a variety of management styles, and most effective owners use a combination of styles to handle different situations. A firm approach might work in one situation while different circumstances may be better handled with a softer approach. It largely depends on you and your personality.
It is when owners spend too much time at either extreme of the management spectrum, micromanagement and laissez-faire management, that problems can start to arise. While there may be times where either of these styles can be effective, too much time will lead to difficulties with your staff.
Micromanagement is a style that refers to a very hands-on approach. It is typified by a manager that wants to control even the smallest details of every employee’s job. They want to know the details of everything that goes on in their business. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, if it is the defining factor of a manager the staff may start to feel like everything they do is under scrutiny. They begin to feel like they have no power to make any decisions on their own.
The biggest downside is that employees will not take ownership in their jobs, and without any ownership, there is very little pride in the work that they do. Over time, employees will feel frustrated to the point that they will start looking for a new place to work. While some employee turnover is a natural part of the restaurant industry, too much turnover can really disrupt your business. You will spend so much time in training that you will not have the time you need to move your business forward.
The other end of the spectrum is the laissez-faire manager. This is the complete opposite of the micro manager. Rather than trying to control every detail, the laissez-faire manager allows employees to make most of the decision on their own. The manager makes very few decisions about the running of the business. Most of the day to day operation is handled by supervisors or by the staff themselves.
Employees need to have some responsibility. Without management control, the inmates will begin to take over the asylum. If left unsupervised employees may begin to start making decisions that look out for their own best interest, and not the best interest of your business.
The Bottom Line
Like in so many areas in life, you need to have balance in your management style. Rather than have one style that you force onto every situation, you will be better served to use a variety of styles that you can use in different situations.