glasses removing the blur of an image of a forest

01.28.2019

Growth  |  4 min read

5 Tips for Small Business Owners on how to Focus on What’s Important

Created with Sketch.

Christine Watts

Many small business owners fall into the trap of trying to “do it all,” getting so busy that they lose sight of long-term goals, a cycle that threatens to result in a failing business.

According to Bloomberg, eight out of 10 small businesses fail within the first 18 months. No wonder—we all know how easy it is to get swallowed in the day-to-day business operations and let poor time management skills take over. Small business owners need to be the visionaries and forward thinkers, but that can often be what gets put on the backburner first.

To stay in that 20 percent of thriving businesses, read these five tips for small business owners to focus on what’s important.

Hire strategically

Your never-ending list of busy work and “to-dos,” can become distracting and all-consuming. Identify your strengths as the business owner and delegate tasks that you don’t have time to give 100 percent to anymore. This could include marketing, purchasing, finance, sales, etc. Giving up these responsibilities is a sign of real growth and lets you focus on the bigger picture of your business growth.

Saying “no” to meetings

An over-crowded calendar can be a recipe for disaster. If you have hired strategically, you should not be involved in every aspect of day-to-day decision-making. Aim to be accessible to your teams, but don’t be involved in things like daily sales meetings. Learn to set boundaries, prioritize and attend only meetings with your most immediate priorities.

Plan to be interrupted

Staff members will pop into your office and you will run into someone while getting coffee that leads to a 30-minute discussion. Sure, you should put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign and close your office door, but this will not prevent them all. If you plan time in your day that gives a buffer to your existing schedule, you will be less stressed or frustrated by conversations that run longer than expected. Your employees will appreciate you not constantly rushing off as though you don’t have time for them.

Select your tools

We are a technology-driven world, and there are many tools to choose from. Find a millennial in your office and tell them about what time management you are struggling with. Choose a calendar, task, alert, notification, or alarm app, and stick to your schedule. Your phone can be the greatest tool you have at your disposal to keep you in line, so use it to its full potential. Beyond your phone, there are many wearable pieces of technology that will help in your time management needs. Some of the most basic devices you can set to vibrate each hour to remind you to get up, not let a meeting go over, or just help you keep track of the day.

Go home

As a small business owner, you have a task list that will never end. An NFIB article explains you need time to take it easy in order to maintain balance and stay energized about what you are doing in the office. Yes, some days/weeks you will stay late and barely get sleep, but knowing this is not sustainable is important for your overall health and, in turn, the health of your business.

While no one can completely remove the things that can derail their day, using these five tips will help you have more time and energy for the long-term planning your business needs to thrive. You can now plan for that store expansion, find out what inventory is working for you, or get ahead of your slow season with more marketing. Now that you have the time, all you need are some funds to get started.

This article originally appeared in IOU Financial.

This article was written by Christine Watts from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Was this post helpful?

Subscribe to our newsletter

Fresh small business insights and ideas delivered weekly to your inbox, gratis.

Loading spinner Loading spinner

You may also like

{{ record.displayCategory | smartCapitalize }} | min read

 
Before you go...

Get fresh small business insights and ideas delivered weekly to your inbox.

Loading spinner Loading spinner
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter!
Loading spinner Loading spinner

What you'll get from it:

As a thank you for subscribing, we'll send you a copy of our 2018 Small Business Marketing Trends Report with insights from over 1,000 surveyed business owners. The gifts just keep on coming.

4 Reasons to Subscribe:
  • Weekly tips to dominate sales and marketing

  • Expert small business resources that cost you zero dollars

  • We're focused 100 percent on small business success

  • Righteous GIFs

    GIF of Ferris Bueler principal's assistant

P.S. We'll never give out your information. We'll only use it to send you awesome content and resources, if you're cool with that.

Infusionsoft is now Keap. That’s weird to write, but it’s also exciting.

In 2001, trying to get Infusionsoft off the ground, there were many times when I wanted to quit. I’ll never forget my wife, after two years of struggling to survive, hugging me and saying, “Keep going.”

Over the last two years, we’ve talked with thousands of small business owners to get a deeper understanding of their unique challenges in today’s market. We learned that it’s harder than ever to succeed in small business. Customers expect more. On-demand is the rule. There’s no shortage of platforms on which to complain. A failed job or two can be damaging to your business.

Keap is our signal to the world—and to ourselves—that it’s time to make it easier to succeed. We’re on a mission to simplify growth for millions of small businesses. Our new name is a nod to the tenacity of the small business owner and encompasses everything we know to be true when it comes to success: keep going, keep serving, keep growing.

Along with a new name, we’ve expanded to two products. Keap, our newest product, is smart client management software that helps service businesses progress leads to satisfied clients. Infusionsoft by Keap is powerful CRM and sales and marketing automation software for advanced business needs.

Both are designed to make it easier than ever for more small businesses to get organized so they can deliver great service and close more business.

Clate Mask signature

To your success,
Clate Mask
CEO + Co-Founder