What To Do When Your Business Is Running You

3 MIN READ

For years I have been in one business or another. I started out selling vacuum cleaners door to door, which then took my husband and I to a Godfreys franchise, then our own small appliance repair centre, then we moved our operations to online retail, selling vacuum cleaner spare parts online from several different platforms as we outgrew each one. Along the way I became a teacher too, graduating with honours and moving to work in primary schools, high schools, and special ed. This opened opportunities for me to  train beginning teachers at university level too. I have been a busy girl! For as long as I can remember I have managed multiple pots on the boil and made progress in it all by committing first to excellence in management. Our time is our most precious resource.

When you are run off your feet chasing your business around, It is time to put yourself back in the driver’s seat.

So many business people struggle with the management of their work and run themselves ragged trying to keep their thumb in all of the different business pies at once. When people say they are having trouble running their business, what they really need is to learn how to streamline their daily management processes. It is important to realise that problems with the running of the business will affect lead generation, sales, cash flow and staffing. It is easy to jump the gun at this point and think that better staff, more money or more work will solve the problem, but let me tell you from experience that chasing these fixes will be a recipe for disaster. Business management is the umbrella that holds it all together and this is where the gains need to be made. Here are some key aspects of successful business management that will help you through:

FOCUS: Clarify the one thing you do in your business, and direct all your resources to that end. Time. Money. Physical resources. If you sell widgets, then your business is selling widgets. It’s not writing about selling widgets or telling people you sell widgets. Advertising, marketing and promotions are all vital for you to sell those widgets, but they are not your business. Keep the horse in front of the cart.

CLARIFY: Get rid of all peripheral activities. Clear your calendar of unnecessary appointments and abort projects that don’t get you where you want to be going. Unsubscribe all irrelevant emails and clean up your work space. If you are brave enough you might even consider detoxing your social circle by making choices to spend the most time with the people who contribute to your growth and well being.

CREATE ROUTINES: A big portion of your work is repetitive and like the proverbial “women’s work”, it is never done. Set your morning routine by creating a checklist of all of the ongoing tasks that will always need to be attended to. Jobs like email management, social media notifications, phone messages, opening mail etc can be done in a super fast daily routine if you have a list you work every morning to clear your mind and your desk.

GROUP TASKS: Most of the tasks you do are similar or the same in nature. Group them together and allocate a set time for them. Monday mornings for me are pays, accounting, super, bills and invoicing. Monday afternoons are for writing my blog, guest blogging for others and creating social media posts. This means I only do those tasks on those days or at the allocated time. This approach can be applied to content creation, filing, development of promotions and advertising, and meetings.

DOCUMENT: Invest time in creating detailed manuals for the repetitive tasks you do. These should be complete with every step of the task and screen shots or photos. Do Not Miss One Step. Every login, mouse click, and field to complete must be included. These documents will allow you to get help from someone else sooner rather than later. Better than this though, they will eventually become the comprehensive documentation that adds immeasurable value to a future buyer of your business. Make these as you go, right then and there, to make your connection with the job authentic.

SYSTEMISE: There are software programs, apps, and websites that will take care of many tasks you might be doing manually right now. Advance schedule emails, social media posts, and reminders with software. Put everything in the calendar you carry around with you in your phone. Everything. Organize your workflow with project software and manage your data storage and sharing with cloud tools. Do your accounting, pay your bills, and even manage your health and well being with apps that lead the way for you.  It’s time to move towards new ways of managing your work.

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