While being in business for yourself can be very rewarding, the truth is it can also be very hard. There is a lot to do to keep things running…and growing! When you work for someone else, you typically have a defined role. A role that allows you to leave at some point in the day and disconnect.
When you own your own business, it’s really hard to disconnect. When you don’t disconnect, it can become difficult to focus on the big picture. It can also be difficult to focus on growing when you are caught up in trying to manage the day to day tasks.
My Own Struggles to Focus
As I write this very post, I am conflicted with work I need to do a for a client, work I need to do on my website and the fact that my entire family has the day off but I am working. Disclaimer…I am by no means a master at staying focused and disconnecting, I have my days where I can’t focus and life gets in the way of forward progress. I’m just sharing what I do that works for me a majority of the time. Feel free to take it and massage it in to what ever you need to make it work for you!
My 3 Tips for Staying Focused on Growing Your Business
Make a List
I make a list each day. That list consists of what I NEED to get done and what I’d LIKE to get done. The things I need to get done are usually time sensitive items or things my clients are waiting on. The things I’d like to get done are tasks that I need to take care of but have some flexibility on time. I try to chip away at those little by little so they don’t end up on my NEED to get done list. I always make sure my list includes at least one thing I am doing for my own business, not just things I need to do for my clients. So maybe it is getting my invoicing up to date, or maybe it is writing a blog. Doing something, even if it is just one thing for your business each day will help you stay focused on forward progress.
Outsource What You Can
Outsourcing can be tough because for most small business owners, it boils down to money. There isn’t enough money to outsource so we take on everything ourselves. Unfortunately, when you take on things you know nothing about it can end up costing you more money in the long run and something even more important…your time. Time that could be spent doing something to help your business grow. With that said, look closely at the things that take up the most time in your business. If you are spending hours per week managing your books, your payroll or some other administrative task, look into outsourcing options. Taking items like this off your own plate will help free up your time to focus things that can grow your business, not just keep it running.
I hear so many owners tell me, “I’m doing everything I can and I can’t seem to grow.” Whenever I hear that I ask them to define their idea of growth for me. 9 times out of 10 there are no clear cut goals that the owner has set. What that means is they are working hard but they don’t know what they are working for. Define your goals. If you read my blogs you know I am a big advocate for planning and setting goals fits right in. I set weekly, monthly and annual goals for myself. It’s nothing crazy…networking is one of my main resources for generating leads, so this month I set a goal to attend two networking events. Simple…and if the month comes and goes and I haven’t gone to anything and I have no new jobs coming in, I know why and what I need to do next month.
Staying focused on your business can be tough. Life happens. We are all juggling a number of roles…business owner, wife, Mom, husband, Dad, caregiver…what ever your role is, it is bound to pull you away from your business at one time or another. The key to staying focused is knowing what you need to do to pick things back up and get moving in the right direction!