Five Important Tips to stay on top of your Business
As a small business owner it’s not easy to stay on top of everything you need or want to do. You’re being pulled in many directions.
One moment you’re the marketing manager meeting with existing and prospective clients. The next you are the bookkeeper making sure your accounts are up to date.
But do you really know what is happening in your business? Are you being proactive and actioning your goals?
Or are you reacting to what is happening to you at the time, be it the ding of a new email or the ring of the telephone.
Staying on top of your business is not easy. It takes focus and yes, willpower. Here are five tips to help you move towards achieving your small business vision.
1. Work on your business not in it
Most of us have heard this one. It was put forward by Michael Gerber in his book The E-Myth Revisited. I call it a mantra because whenever I mention the phrase to a small business owner they often finish the sentence for me!
It’s vital to be actively involved in understanding what your goals are and why they are necessary to achieve your vision.
Write them down making sure you know how you are going to action and measure them. And don’t forget to put a time limit on when they are going to be achieved.
2. Ask questions
Talk to everyone you can about what they do to stay on top of their business. Find others who have been there by joining networking groups like Working Womens Network (sorry fellows) and Flying Solo. There are many, many small business owners out there who have either been there or have the same questions.
Get together and talk about your problems and ideas. Two or more heads are better than one and most people love to share their knowledge or want to help.
3. Never stop learning
You business changes. Your customers change. People’s buying habits change.
It’s important to keep up to date on not only your market but the marketplace in general.
One thing you can be certain of is there will be change. Once you understand this you can then put in plans to learn from those around you.
Use social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs to stay in touch and up to date.
Many networking events have great speakers
Take a course to learn new skills or update existing ones
Just keep learning and building on your knowledge and skills.
4. Document your systems and processes
This is probably the most put off task but one that will reap huge benefits as your business grows and you either take on employees or outsource some of the work.
I’d like to share a story that illustrates this.
My hairdresser had not been able to work in or on her business for a few weeks as she had that really nasty flu that’s being going around. And no sooner had she recovered from that when she suffered another illness and was off work again. This increased her stress levels no end. Not only because she was so ill but because she was the only one who knew how to count and order the stock. It wasn’t documented anywhere so she couldn’t ask either of her employees to do it for her. When she got back to work they were almost out of stock.
Systems and processes don’t have to be neatly documented. They just need to be written down so they can be followed. The solution to my hairdresser’s problem? Next time she was taking inventory and putting in an order she’d make sure she had one of her employees watch and take notes on how it was done. It could stay handwritten until there is time to type it up neatly and put in a folder.
Lesson: it doesn’t matter how your processes are written down as long as they are in writing somewhere.
5. Make sure you understand your financials
If you don’t understand your financials how do you know if your business is successful or not? Financial information such as:
profit and loss statements
revenue and expenses
assets and liabilities
Profit is essential to a successful business. We have to pay our bills and ourselves. How much profit you want is personal and will be different for each small business owner. But you must have a profit if you want money in the bank. Money that is yours to spend when and how you like.
Ask your accountant to explain it to you including consequences of not maintaining your financials properly.
These five tips are just some ways to help you proactively manage your business instead of reacting to each day as it happens. By having actionable and measurable goals you can focus on you are well on the road to business success.
Below are a few Business Plan Templates To Get you Started: