If you’re a small business owner, chances are you wear a lot of hats. And because you're carrying the weight of the company on your shoulders, you risk losing sight of the business’ long-term goals, ultimately putting the company in danger of failing.
Approximately 80% of small businesses don’t make it, as company owners who are the visionaries and thinkers tend to fail at delegating tasks that hone their employees’ skills. They think they can do it all and spread themselves too thin, decreasing morale and driving the business into the ground.
Here are 5 important business tips for small business owners to focus on in an effort to operate a company that thrives.
Hire the right people
A small business owner needs to take a good look at their “to-do” list and decipher what they can handle and what can be delegated to trustworthy employees. Identify the strengths of each staff member and see who can best handle the marketing, the purchasing, the financing, driving sales, etc. These are menial tasks on which the company’s manager should not be expending energy. It’s up to the owner to focus on the company’s bigger picture.
It's OK to say no
This goes hand-in-hand with the above. If you have a reliable staff in place, then it’s not necessary for the business owner to attend every meeting and flood their calendar with appointments. Of course it’s important to be accessible to your staff on an as-needed basis, but you don’t have to be involved in each daily meeting. Someone in a leadership position can easily experience burnout so set boundaries, prioritize tasks, and only attend meetings that require your immediate attention.
Expect the unexpected
As the business owner, you will likely be interrupted on a regular basis each day. For example, employees will knock on your door and ask questions, and investors and clients will call to voice concerns throughout the day. As a result, you're bound to fall way behind in what you'd planned to accomplish that day. The answer is not to close your door or not answer your phone. You just need some effective time management. Anticipate interruptions by putting “buffers” in your schedule so you can make time for questions and/or concerns without seeming like you’re being dismissive knowing how far behind you’re getting. Unexpected issues always pop up throughout the day, you just have to be ready for them and not allow them to impede your momentum.
Automate your business
With all of the technological advantages that are available to us, we can automate a number of tasks. There are multiple tools at our disposal in the way of customer relationship management (CRM) software. This allows you to sync your calendar, contacts, correspondence, etc, all in one centralized place. Lean on automation to complete your one-time set it and forget it tasks so you never have to think about them again. Auto-generate your company’s weekly newsletter, make weekly calendar alerts for certain meetings, set notifications on your phone when a proposal is signed. Automation is a game changer, it’ll help you improve time management and make each day run a lot more smoothly.
Yes, as a business owner, your list of tasks seemingly never ends, but it’s important to know when to stop. A successful business owner knows how to set boundaries and go home every night, turning off their notifications and letting their brain rest. It’s important to replenish the mind so it doesn’t experience burnout, causing the business to suffer due to missed deadlines and poor decision making. Having a late night here or there when it’s necessary is fine, but don’t make a bad habit of it. Don’t neglect family, friends, or your home. Getting a good night’s sleep makes all the difference, as it helps you recharge and think more clearly about the day ahead.
It’s also important to take things one day at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Applying these 5 tips will help small business owners save time and energy that can be delegated toward what’s best for the company and planning a healthy future with a healthy day-to-day workload.