Running an independent venture is a hefty responsibility, brimming with challenging duties. Small business leaders tend to get sidetracked by matters such as balancing the books and pleasing customers. While these concerns remain essential, effective leadership is equally vital. Modeling good business etiquette elicits similar conduct from employees. Here are three principles that do just that whenever entrepreneurs adhere to them.

Rule #1: Attend to Your Appearance

As the phrase goes, never judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, human nature goes against this principle. Subconsciously, we allow frivolous factors to influence our perceptions of others. If you look as though you got dressed in the dark, people may think laziness is one of your primary attributes. Give a moment to check that your clothes match, lack holes or tears, and have been recently washed. Brushing your hair and using breath spray are easy tasks.

It may seem awkward to focus on looks well into adulthood. Let that feeling go. After all, only a few minutes of attention can make an enormous difference. Remember that holding yourself to a particular standard is necessary if you expect staff to do the same.

Rule #2: Mind What You Say

“Loose lips sink ships” is another age-old saying. Gossip has been the downfall of many. Negative words about others have a habit of spreading fast. Once the target of malicious sentiments overhears unkind chatter, there is likely to be conflict. Let discretion rule and think carefully about every word you use.

Should an employee speak out of turn, address the matter in private. Quashing rumors and snide comments before they fester remains vital to keeping commercial entities on an even keel.

Rule #3: Speak Clearly

Good leadership also requires that directives be clear and precise. Unclear instructions are bound to deliver disappointing results. After every meeting, ask whether everyone understands what you’ve stated. It may be wise to have individuals repeat back what’s been said as a method of confirmation.

Writing demands similar accuracy. It matters not whether it’s within an email or on a sign hanging in the break room. Check spelling and grammar for correctness. Ask someone to review what you’ve written to make sure misinterpretations are impossible.

Business etiquette principles such as these may feel unworthy of attention. In reality, they’re critical behaviors required of leaders who want to inspire a responsive support team. Concentrating on them should help improve operational effectiveness.

The finance specialists at MAI Capital help many companies get the funds they need to grow and expand their business. We are recognized around the country for our commercial finance expertise and business loans and we would like to bring this expertise to you and your business partners.