5 Things to Do Right Now to Make Great Things Happen for Your Business
If you are like most business owners, you have set your goals and mapped out your plan, and you expect your business to grow in the coming year with new customers and additional sales. You should expect that every year if you work hard in your business. But if your plan requires you to work hard in your business, when will you have time to work on your business?
The difference is what separates businesses that manage to eke out small increments of growth each year from businesses that are clearly on their way to the next level. If you have a vision of greater things for your business, you need to find a way to work on the things that will make it great. Here are five things you can do right now to make great things happen for your business.
Get Back to “Why” You Are in Business
It is not uncommon for business owners to lose sight of the reasons why they went through the pain and hardship of starting their business. The mundane tasks of running a business tend to numb the passion that once drove you. If you expect to get your business to the next level, you must rediscover that passion and find ways to exercise it. Very few people go into business simply to make money. There is always something beyond money that makes people take risks and make sacrifices to create a business.
When your passion drives you, you become capable of great things. When your business drives you, you can lose sight of all the great things you want to happen. Find time each day to focus on what really drives you and share that with the people around you.
Vow to Spend More Time Working on Your Business than in Your Business
Refocusing on your passion will draw you more to the big-picture aspects of growing your business. But that doesn’t happen without changes in how you run your business. The more time you spend running your business, the less opportunity you have to guide it. You first need to find the time to devote to strategic thinking and then be able to lead the efforts to implement your strategies.
At a minimum, you should schedule one day a week to focus on nothing but your vision for the business and the strategies to achieve it. When you can expand that to the whole week, you will know your business is hitting its stride.
Stop Being Invisible to Your Market
As the marketing leader of your business, your primary focus this year should be to increase your brand awareness and visibility. You need to be in charge of your digital marketing strategy, which is vital to getting your message out, generating incoming leads, and cultivating contacts and relationships. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost a fortune to create a dynamic, responsive website.
You could hire a college student to help you create one using any free or affordable website creator, like Squarespace.com. The real work involves creating content that will engage customers and develop a sense of urgency; that might be the one area in which you should invest a little bit of money.
Work with a Coach or a Mentor
Anytime someone embarks on significant changes in their personal or business situation, they have difficulty moving forward because of a lack of encouragement and accountability. It is easy to get thrown off track and revert to the more comfortable way of doing things. But, when there is someone close by with a personal interest in your success, you can get all the encouragement and accountability you need.
Many of the most successful business leaders of our time attribute much of their success to a mentor or a coach. A good coach or mentor can bring invaluable insight and an outside perspective to help you stay focused on the vital issues. Most importantly, they will hold you accountable to your vision and plans.
Great coaches can be found among the business leaders in your industry or community looking for opportunities to work with up-and-coming business owners. Or, you may have a former boss, professor, or colleague who would be honored to be your business mentor.
Upgrade Your Financial Management
Many business owners also wear the hat of CFO even though financial management is not their forte. Between the time it takes away from your ability to work on your business and the likelihood of costly mistakes, any financial functions you can offload will probably be an upgrade for your business. At the very least, business owners should enlist the help of a CPA to prepare their taxes, but the smart ones will also hire a part-time person or virtual assistant to keep the books.
By linking your accounting software with an online business bank account, all your transactions will be synced and reconciled automatically. All bank reporting can be downloaded to your accounting software, so you always have a real-time status of your cash flow.
You could also offload most of your treasury management solutionsfunctions to your bank, including the management of payables and receivables. Your bank can also handle your payroll. Lower fixed costs and increased efficiency will quickly offset any additional cost for these upgrades, leaving you with much more time to work on your business.