An astute leader has a number of qualities that make him a strong and effective small-business owner. Being astute simply means to be aware and shrewd in continually analyzing conditions and acting accordingly to achieve positive desired outcomes. An astute small-business leader stays aware of marketing conditions, of the status of his company and his employees, and continually is on the lookout for ways to improve operations and efficiency.

Prepared and Organized

To be an astute leader, a business owner must first be highly organized in the way he operates his business. This includes having a well-developed business and marketing plan in place, hiring and training the best employees for positions, and continually monitoring the progress of key business functions. An astute leader anticipates potential problem areas and has contingency plans in place to address issues as they arise. He also has a keen sense for recognizing opportunity and taking advantage of positive business circumstances when they present themselves.

In Touch With Employees

Astute leaders stay in touch with their employees, provide detailed performance assessments, and ask for employee input. Astute leaders typically are able to effectively delegate authority and to recognize leadership abilities and strengths in his employee ranks. In a small-business environment, this type of leadership style can help create a dynamic, effective, tight-knit group of employees that are able to follow directives and work with their boss to continually grow the business.

Knowledgeable About the Market

Being aware of changing business market conditions is vital to the success of a small-business owner. An astute leader keeps track of economic indicators, is involved with industry and trade associations, and closely monitors his competitors. He networks with others in his industry and creates key connections through networking efforts. Creating dynamic relationships with others in his field puts him into positions where his expertise and leadership skills become valued by colleagues.

Strong Business Acumen

An astute business leader knows the ins and outs of his industry. He is shrewd with his finances and thoroughly researches investments, opportunities and growth strategies. An astute leader takes calculated risks and stays abreast of industry trends. He also understands the value of the contributions of his staffers, and promotes professional enrichment and continuing education for his employees.