You could be a small, family-owned kitchen and bathroom remodeling company with a modest staff of eight. Or maybe it’s just you and you’re running a Kickstarter campaign for a new clothing line you have designed for tweens. You could even be responsible for building a fortune 500 company from the ground up.
Chances are, as a small business owner, you have at least one thing in common. You dream big. And you are all in. Even if that means working longer hours and forgetting to take time off and losing sight of why you did all of this in the first place.
Most small business owners know there is a difference between working your business and being your business. Yet doing too much is among one of the most common mistakes made by new and seasoned entrepreneurs alike.
It can be challenging, yet there are several ways to get back to basics.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Have a plan. The daily grind is important. Without day-to-day tasks, there is no growth. Yet each day should always fall into place with a strategic plan for your company. Small businesses with a business plan are proven to be more successful than competitors without a similar guide for growth and development of the business. Outlining a vision, setting goals and putting together a game plan are steps to take on a daily, monthly, quarterly and annual basis that can help you stay focused on your long-term goals.
- Stay on track. While it is a best practice to revisit goals regularly, the best thing you can do to stay on track with the overall vision for your future is not to get too caught up in the trenches. Make sure to check in regularly to ensure everything is running smoothly and according to plan, but then move on.
- Delegate. While any small business owner knows you frequently wear many hats, you are the owner not the employee. One of the ways to think bigger is to consider finding ways to delegate tasks that might be more efficiently accomplished by an expert in the area. It may be a tough thing to wrap your mind around because this is your business. Yet that is exactly why you should explore the benefits of delegating. Chances are while you may craft the best design for a new kitchen or design the next new thing in tween fashion, you may not be the best at bookkeeping. Or scheduling or writing blog posts or many things that would help grow your business that you may not have time to actually do. That is where virtual assistants are worth their weight in gold. They can do these things for $20 an hour, allowing you to do what makes you $200 per hour.
4. Embrace opportunity. Simply put, your time as an entrepreneur is exceptionally valuable, but that doesn’t excuse working around the clock seven days a week. Work-life balance is essential to staying productive, efficient and happy in any profession, but is particularly crucial for small business owners. Taking time to delegate tasks to someone else, like a virtual assistant who may be able to do the same thing in a third of the time, can be an incredible investment in the health, and wealth, of your business. That is why it’s so important to understand opportunity cost, or essentially what can be gained by asking for help from experts to complete tasks that may allow a small business owner to spend their time on something they’re the expert at.
When it comes to big business, size doesn’t matter. Because when you plan, stay on track, delegate and understand opportunity costs you are putting in place the best possible course of action to do what makes you money and brings your big dream to life.