Small businesses need small goals; that sounds trite, right? While it may sound ‘cute’, it’s actually quite true for businesses of any size. Small goals are not a reflection of the ambition or overarching strategy of a business, but rather speak to the strategic way a business approaches its long-term goals. Small goals enable businesses to chip away at large objectives and celebrate their wins along the way. It takes time and effort to get a business up and running in a sustainable way, so taking time to note accomplishments of any size bolsters morale and helps you refocus on the bigger business goals. Jack Nickell, the owner of Threadless.com, perfectly summarizes what it takes to start a company:
Being a small business owner is an incredible feat. You’ve pursued your passion and made it into a reality. It is certainly exciting to be at the helm of a business, but it can also be overwhelming. You’re responsible for everything, and properly attending to every factor of your business takes time. You may have noticed that your day can easily be derailed by sales call or troubleshooting an unexpected and urgent issue. These kinds of interruptions are part of being a small business owner, but in order to maximize your time and not work 24/7, try setting a schedule. We have five recommendations for setting a schedule that works for you and helps you stay on track for reaching your business goals.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up social media accounts for your business and are gaining followers and increasing engagement daily. Your hard work is paying off, but do you feel like social media management is becoming a full-time job, on top of running your small business? With the numerous platforms available, all which have different functionalities and requirements – cue Twitter’s 140 character limit for tweets – it can be a cumbersome undertaking. You may find that you spend a shocking amount of time on this one piece of your business. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then keep reading!
As small business owners, you know that networking is of utmost importance to building your business and credibility. Word of mouth endorsements are invaluable and you never know the connections you will make at an event or during an online networking hour. Yet, as a small business owner, attending hours-long events to establish relationships and potential partners is just not part of your daily routine because they’re a major drain on your most precious resource: time. Luckily in this fast-paced digital age, there are a number of professional networking apps that help you to network effectively on your own time.
We’re all guilty of it: toggling between screens and applications; answering emails while talking to someone on speakerphone. These are normal daily activities that eat away at our productivity. The ability to focus on a singular task has become a novel idea; we have forgotten the importance of paying attention to one thing at a time and having complete focus. With increasing responsibilities and deliverables, the average person has resorted to ‘multitasking’ all the time. It is so common that it doesn’t even seem like multitasking anymore.
Whether your business goal is to be a best-kept-secret restaurant or the next big tech startup, you can learn a lot from the highly successful people who came before you. It might be hard to imagine now, but someday your fledgling enterprise could be booming – and you could be really busy. Establishing good habits now will lead to greater productivity and satisfaction as your business grows and changes.
With that in mind, we scoured the internet to find some sage advice for you today. Let’s take a look at 10 habits and philosophies of successful businesspeople and leaders that you can take with you on your journey to bigger and better:
Whether you’re just starting to think about striking out on your own, or you’ve been running your own shop for years, everybody needs a little extra motivation sometimes. It can take the form of advice from experts on social media, words to live by from inspiring figures, or an infographic that combines the two!
The graphic below from human resources solutions company Cornerstone brings together 18 mantras that can help prepare you for success or pull you out of a post-setback slump. Use the insights below for yourself, or consider engaging your own following by turning the quotes you see here into eye-catching social media graphics.
You’ve failed at being in two places at once, growing that third hand, and having the memory of a full-grown elephant; but on the bright side, some productivity hacks exist that can help your small business thrive in its natural busy and stressful environment.
So take a deep breath, and count to eight to start using these eight productivity tips as soon as you can!
1. Complete your least desirable tasks first
There’s nothing quite like the sensation of crossing something off of your to-do list. But, the tasks that have been sitting on that list for days (cough, weeks) are the most satisfying to eliminate. Imagine if you made an effort to do those tasks FIRST, you will feel more productive instantly.
When you work from home, there’s a bit of a catch 22 we all must overcome. You are delighted to be able to control everything about your workspace, but you may find that you get overwhelmed trying to set up the ideal work-from-home space. We’ve tackled the issue of creating space for a home office before, if you really are starting from scratch. Once you have the space picked out, consider some (or all!) of the following office gadgets for making your home office truly your own:
Did you know that over half of the small businesses in the United States are run out of a home office? According to the SBA, 52% of small businesses are home based—that’s nearly 14 million at last official count. Are you among them?
Most often, a new business is launched from an existing home. That is to say, very few people are starting a business and buying a home at the exact same time. What this means is that many people do not factor a home office in as a priority when house-hunting, and only realize later on that they need one.