So the tax deadline is looming, the till is in a bad mood, your latest delivery of stock is wrong and your help has just called in sick. Then there are those pesky customers to deal with…
…just your average day for most small business owners, I’m sure you’ll agree!
Tricky thing is, getting your business to the next level – where you can afford more staff, an accountant and (wonder of wonders) a day off – never happens by accident.
Only by finding the time to spend ON your business rather than constantly IN it will you be able to drive the growth you’re looking for.
And there is no better time to drive your business forward than when it’s succeeding. You may have won a new contract or gained a couple more clients – the temptation then being to ‘get to work’ and put your own business to the bottom of the to do pile.
But what happens when that work is finished?
As hard as it may seem, it is essential to find time – even half a day per month is better than none – to switch off the phone and emails, leave the office or shop behind you and take an objective look at where you are and how you are going to go about making your business provide you with the money or lifestyle you really want.
Here are a few ways to do that:
Phone a friend
Ask someone you trust to be honest to ‘mystery shop’ your website, shop or even your leaflets and business cards.
What do they really say about your business? Is it anywhere close to what you intended? What is missing?
Ask the audience
Contact a handful of your recent customers, some regulars, some new, and ask them about their experience, how your marketing attracted them, why they bought from you, what could have gone better.
Then be objective about what they say – all feedback is good and will ultimately lead you to improvements in what you do.
Write a list of all the ‘jobs’ you do in an average week.
I’d bet at least a third of them are things that you do because ‘you do it best and quickest’ when in reality, someone else could take it on (or better still, you could drop it all together).
Try to tame the tail of tasks to focus on what really makes you money.
Do you have ‘on the business’ days?
If so, I’d love to hear from you. What do you do to make that time – and how has it helped you to improve your marketing and drive growth?
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