In every organization there are managers and then there are leaders. Managers are given their role and their authority by the organization. Leaders earn their authority from their peers, coworkers, subordinates and superiors by the actions and the real value they bring to an organization.
In a recent post for SOB, Patty Azzarello wrote an insightful piece about how you can gain influence in an organization. She suggests you can “earn your seat at the table” by being a translator.
The same strategies managers use to gain influence in their respective organizations can work for small business owners, as they attempt to gain influence in the market. Ultimately it boils down to listening to your stakeholders. What is driving them, what are their pressures and opportunities. When you understand that, it is easier to make your product or service more relevant.