Being a small business owner comes with many freedoms and perks. On the flip side, owning your own small business can come with its fair share of challenges and problems to solve on a regular basis. With so much demand for your time, how do you stay focused during the day while you are pulled in so many directions?
Here are five ways to be goal oriented while running a business so you can keep your small business on track and profits on track too!
- Plan Monthly Milestones
It is no surprise that chunking out tasks or setting shorter-range goals helps achieve the bigger picture. By focusing your energy somewhere in the middle, you can keep your long-term focus on track while also monitoring the progress as you go. Plan monthly milestones and factor those into the larger scheme of what your business model is trying to accomplish. If things look to be on track each month, continue the plan. If you are further away from your business goals a few months in, it may be time to course correct.
- Outsource When Possible
There is no way one person can do it all and do it well. With so many competing demands on your time, outsourcing some of the mundane or simpler tasks can free up your time and save you money. By finding freelancers to help with web design or a consultant to outline your upcoming marketing campaign, you can spend more time vision casting and meeting with your customers. Hire professionals who you can trust to take on some of the work and let your expertise shine in other areas.
- Survey Your Customers
You are in business to serve your customers. Why not ask them what they like most or want more of? By looking for feedback you can eliminate the stress and hassle of trying to predict what your customers like. Save time launching a new product or a new service feature by first asking what your customers think. Surveys are simple to set up and also add value to the customer experience. Survey responses might even help you set a few priorities you would have never considered.
- Plan for Priorities
Set aside time each day to handle the priorities that have to get done. Identify one major thing that you can’t finish the day without doing and focus on completing that task. The other stuff can wait, and if it’s not on that list it may not be as critical as you believe it to be. By setting aside time for priorities,you ensure the key elements of your business are handled each day. Remember to keep your “mission critical” task list short to ensure that it gets done daily and keeps its value.
- Reflect on Successes/Failures
Many successful businesses are able to not only reflect on what worked but also on what did not. Don’t just chalk wins and losses up on a tally board. Instead,explore why something worked or didn’t so you know what to avoid or do more of in the future. Businesses that survive the long term are ones that can identify where they hit the mark but also where they may have missed. Take the time to pick your head up from the day to day tasks to reflect and reposition based on what you’re seeing.
By staying focused on your goals, your business can weather the storm of distractions, market challenges, and day-to-day unpredictable moments. Being a small business owner doesn’t exclude a person from big time distractions, but staying focused in a structured way can help any business owner succeed.