Top tips from small business owners over 5 years

by / Thursday, 26 September 2019 / Published in Business Planning

Last month I completed 5 years in my business, listening to and working with a variety of small business owners.

Entrepreneurs who are inspired to be out there, on their own, with no manual on how to be successful in running a business.

These are the top issues I heard, frequently chosen by business owners to focus on to significantly develop themselves, or their business.

Choose the most important one for yourself next;

 

1. Great Processes…

Have a ‘manual’ for how we do business here. Standardising and systematising as much as possible, from initial new customer contact, to after sales follow up.

So when things don’t work, there’s no need to play the dis-empowering blame game – just put them right and tweak the manual for next time.

 

2. Accountability Structure…

When you leave home after school or college, you are no longer accountable to parents or teachers – or a boss if you work for yourself.

Successful people continually take actions that aren’t urgent, but important.

Unless you are unusually well disciplined, it helps to have a structure to do this – a diary, phone reminders, a chart on the wall.

Or, because you can’t see the top of your own head, ideally a person, who is your rock, committed to your success – such as a partner, coach, or mentor.

 

3. Be clear, and deliberate, where you’re investing your energy…

Focus your thoughts and efforts on simply what’s important to you, after you get clear what this is.

How many times do you hear people (and yourself?) complaining about things you don’t want? Such as;

Not enough money
Problem staff
Difficult clients

…it’s energy being squandered – punching the air.

Be clear, and focused on the opposite – what you ideally want. And invest your energy in that.

 

4. Outsource, or Delegate…

Anything that’s not a great use of your valuable time.

Be clear what you are really the best at (normally what you like doing). Then delegate or outsource as much as possible everything else – the admin, bookkeeping, HR, marketing etc.

Jobs dealt with by people who like doing them will often be done better than if done by you – freeing you up to make more money to cover the cost.

If there was a score for your overall success, then it would probably be higher focusing on your strengths, rather than slogging away for hours trying to improve your weaknesses.

 

5. Ready, Fire! (Then aim)…

You can’t aim a duck to death.

Take action – it’s the fastest way of learning, and there’s no such thing as total failure. If things don’t work out, you can always take a step back and then take another step forward.

I like American motivation speaker Mel Robbins 5-4-3-2-1 approach; if you have an inspiration, count down from 5 and take the action before you get to 1, otherwise the over-thinking brain can put the brakes on and paralyse you.

 

6. And Take Control…

The big one!

It sounds obvious, but being self-employed, what you say goes.

Everything.

From when you get up in the morning, what you have for breakfast, what you wear, to the times and days you do business (managing your diary), the people you employ, and the people you chose to do business with.

The red flag – when you catch yourself saying ‘I have to, I’ve got to, or I need to’, instead of ‘I want to do this’.

Eventually you will 100% choose everything you do.

 

…and finally, my top tip;

One Thing!

If inspired by any of the above, choose just one thing to focus on as a priority for the last Quarter of this year.

You chase two rabbits, you catch neither!

And if you would like some support with this please contact me – now is the perfect opportunity to create a focus for the next 3 months, and set you up with a great base to build on next year.

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