Every month end marks one more thirty day period of time that has past. Thirty days of time given to you whether you choose to use it to productively build your business or not. How have you elected to grow and build your business this past month? If you are like most small business owners, you spent a majority of it running around like a chicken with its head cut off. You ran from task to task never stopping to contemplate the end result.
Operating like this can often make each month run right into each other, and things all start looking the same. If this is the cycle you find yourself in, the following steps will help you prepare better for the month ahead allowing you to focus ON your business instead of just IN your business. There is a big difference! Therefore, the main point of this article is to give you ways to focus on your business so you do not get stuck in the trenches of your day-to-day business operations. In order to grow and expand, you will need to focus on larger picture items and execute the plans you put in place to obtain the future you desire.
Step #1: Review prior goals for status updates.
Goals are fantastic to have. Technically, if you don’t have any business goals already, that is step #1: MAKE SOME GOALS! Expand your mind, grow your business intellectually and set some milestones to achieve that imagined outcome. If you have already set goals, review them.
Ensure you are making progress. Discover areas of challenge and reassess how those difficulties can be overcome. Sometimes goals that were previously set are no longer applicable; give yourself permission to remove those goals. Here comes the fun part – add some new goals! If you have completed some goals, that means it is time for new ones. Grow your goal list to grow your business.
Step #2: Determine the resources you will need in order to proceed with your goals.
We all need help from time to time, especially in areas well outside of our skill set. If any of your goals require an expert, you need to reach out and delegate whatever tasks are required. Say, for example, you want to file a trademark for your business. You could go to the US Patent and Trademark Office’s website, read until you are blue in the face, and file the paperwork. How uncomfortable will you be during the entire process? Will you be wondering if you have missed something, or frustrated with the number of hours spent researching? If so, instead hire an Intellectual Property attorney and release that stress and time.
A trademark is a big example but delegation can be applied to small tasks just the same. If a task is not within your skill set but completing its respective goal is a must to move your business forward, then find a resource to help. Keep a list of all resources you will need to complete your goals in the upcoming month.
An expert is a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.
Step #3: Bring out your calendar and plan ahead.
Thirty days is not a lot of time but, if planned correctly and strategically, you can get a lot accomplished. Look at the days ahead and decide the time blocks dedicated to working in your business. Mark those down. Then plan times throughout the month to work on your business through your goals. An example of a goal might be to review your financial statements each month to see growth in revenue. The only way to obtain accurate financial statements is by having all your receipts and expenses into your accounting records. So you might plan an afternoon the first week to gather all papers and receipts and get those entered into your accounting system.
This also means setting up appointments with the resources in Step #2. If it is an attorney, call and schedule a time to discuss the goal. Same goes with a CPA for tax goals. Get those meetings on the calendar before the month even starts!
Step #4: Polish off any loose ends.
Moving into the future is always better (and certainly easier) when you have finished the past. This principle applies to anything in life and definitely in your business. Those unfinished tasks or conversations are going to hang over your head, weigh on you and overwhelm you until you are frozen in place. The way to get momentum is to start moving!
Make a list of all unfinished tasks that would mean a lot (either in emotional or business value), then get them done. Right now you have one week before next month. That is 168 hours, less 56 for sleeping, leaving 112 hours. Use those hours to pound your list out. Let nothing stop you. Treat this week like the week before a vacation, by preparing and leaving nothing unfinished.
Follow these easy steps, even in just the last week of every month, and you will see so much improvement in your business that it might surprise you. It will also become addicting. The productivity, growth and weightlessness that comes with getting things done and completing those goals will energize you. Energy will become the lifeblood of your business.