For small business owners, especially the creatively inclined, streamlining your time, energy and passion into practices that move your company forward can be harder than you thought. Just run a business for a little while. You’ll see.
Don’t mistake us, innovation and risks make good companies into great ones, but without clear goals, a systematic workflow and an implementation plan . . . well, things don’t get anywhere. And the terrible reality of most owner personalities is that, through their overwhelming passion for what they do and their forbearing tendency to want to do it—“it” meaning everything—themselves, just keeping the lights on is exhausting enough. Forget time for promoting, marketing and implementing any of your bright ideas for the future.
Here, we give six tips to help you stay focused, energized, and run your business with purpose:
- Create ten goals for the year. Some can be small, so you feel a sense of accomplishment along the way, but some should be challenging and take time to achieve. This is how you keep your company growing and moving forward.
- Stop trying to do everything yourself. Maybe you’re okay at accounting, okay at design, and okay at sales. You’re okay at everything. That doesn’t mean you should do everything. Recognize the value of your time. When you hire or outsource those responsibilities to someone who is more than “okay,” you have more time to do things you’re great at—and focus on a long-term, viable business strategy.
- Make a daily list of at least six important tasks. With your list in front of you, your path for the day is already set. No amount of phone calls, visitors and demands for attention can make you forget your real priorities for the day. Your business plan doesn’t fit around your day. Your day fits around your plan.
- Eat your frog first! When you surf social media sites and read work-related blogs (except this one, of course), are you really just procrastinating? What is it you’re putting off? Focus on those issues and knock them out early in the day. You’ll feel far more productive and the weight of the task will no longer impact your attitude.
- Remember your bottom line. A business that doesn’t make money cannot survive. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward. So figure out how to meet more people, create more relationships and get more clients. Don’t be afraid to spend money on genuine growth opportunities, but don’t jump at offers just because they’re offers. Take care of your bottom line.
- Surround yourself with the right people. Stop associating with anyone who is not positive, supportive, educational or does not believe in your goals. Find mentors, leaders and others who bring positive momentum and information into your life. You’ll see the change almost immediately.
Check out these blogs for additional resources on how to make the most of your time.
To find more time to build your business: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/239411
Time management for small business owners: http://www.nfib.com/article/5-time-management-tips-for-small-business-owners-mybiz-ja2014-65985/
Things to do to keep your passion as a business owner: http://thethrivingsmallbusiness.com/small-business-owners-8-ways-to-help-keep-your-batteries-charged/