It’s easy to find yourself concentrating so hard on the moving cogs in your business, that you neglect your own needs as an entrepreneur. Being a business owner requires you to wear several hats but what skill sets are 100% necessary?
1. Become a time lord
How to have a good, productive day? Simple – have a priority. Having clear goals is a must to start a productive day. Knuckling down on one objective will ensure you get far more done. By predicting the ups and downs in your business with our forecasting tools, you’ll always know where you need to be concentrating the most.
Moulding your business plan around your forecast allows you to plan ahead for obstacles and make the most of busy periods. Use this knowledge to be confident in what you should be focusing on and when. There’s no point pushing yourself to run at full speed if you have no idea which way you should be turning.
The dreaded area to tackle: productivity. As an entrepreneur, you need to make the most of your precious time, so what habits do you need to adopt to make your hard work pay off?
Quick wins to kick-start your productivity:
- Set realistic to do lists
- Dedicate an hour of your Monday morning to planning your objectives for the week and specify the steps you need to get there
- Make use of technology. Set time sections in your calendar, or reminders on your phone
- Have multiple defined break times. Breaks will allow you to recharge and refocus, and defining when they are will keep you on a steady track
Review your to-do list and prioritise your tasks by urgency as well as importance. If it’s not important, why is it on your to-do list? By removing unnecessary tasks, you can avoid distractions and refocus on your most important goals:
- Urgent, important items: give a generous amount of time and complete at your most productive times of the day
- Non-urgent, important items: consider taking a day or session a week to dedicate to these items
- Urgent, non-important items: utilise flexibility in your weekly calendar to slot in smaller urgent tasks before the deadline
- Non-urgent, unimportant items should head straight for the bin
2. Become a social-butterfly
Work hard, train hard
Investing in training for your team increases the value they can contribute back to their work. In addition, it allows you to mould, grow and promote people you trust and know, rather than always hiring (and spending weeks teaching) new talent. More importantly, upskilling your employees gives your staff more satisfaction and motivation in their roles. Your staff is a precious resource that will grow and increase in value the more you invest in it.
Communication extends outside of your company too. Communicating effectively with your client base, much like interior communication, requires you to listen, communicate and negotiate. This could be face to face, or digitally. In all cases, you need a clear plan and style of how you do this.
Do you have a company voice? If not, spend some time composing it; the tone, the ideals, and the language you use have an impact. This gives your customers a real sense of your business’ ethos and who you are.
Motivate, motivate, motivate
Motivating employees is one of the core responsibilities you have as a business owner. It shouldn’t feel like a chore, and it’ll be evident to your employees if it does. There are a range of ways you can give something back, from a Thank You box (or Slack channel, for the more digitally savvy among you), to company event days, or investing in development programmes.
Employees that are appreciated and happy at work are more productive and motivated. This reflects in the quality of their work, and will benefit you and your customers (which to really hammer it home, benefits you, again).
Save sinking (partner)ships
Communicating with business partners can be challenging. Negotiations can place barriers in relationships, as both parties stubbornly act with their own business’ best interests in mind. Our solution? Put your purpose in the foreground. If you’re working with another business, it’s likely that you share interests and goals. Use this as your selling point. When both parties are working towards the same goal for the same reasons, you’re likely to have a bigger impact.
3. Become a(n almost) know-it-all
To educate or to delegate?
Educating yourself can be very time-consuming and, increase the company’s dependency on your skill set. Delegating this to a member of staff takes the time pressure off, but may be costly. The decision is the toss-up between dedicating your own time and money to education, or spending resources on hiring someone already qualified. If money is a big problem, consider educating yourself or a current team member, evolving their role. Delegating to another team member will stop the company depending even more heavily on your expertise.
If you’re in a more flexible situation financially, consider hiring a specialist. Whether it’s on a freelance, part-time or permanent basis is up to you and the nature of your needs. Another option is to take on an advisor, who can educate your team and create an action plan for you to run with after they’ve finished. This is a low cost, low time consumption alternative that can bring your team up to speed on the basics.
Know your stuff
As well as industry and skill-based knowledge, you need to know your business. Our in-depth reports and meetings will provide you with all the information you need. We can monitor specific KPIs, keeping an extra close eye on the factors that are most important to your business. Financial or non-financial, we’ll take the blindfold off and keep you up to date on where you are.