Small businesses must go out of their way to be highly productive – more so than traditional businesses. Here are some tips to help you easily and effectively do this.
As a small business owner, you probably already realize how important it is for you to go out of your way to be really productive in your business. Unfortunately, this is a bigger challenge for you than it is for businesses that are of a larger size. However, there are some tips that will help you easily and effectively do this.
Implement the 80/20 Rule (a.k.a. The Pareto Principle)
This is something that’s known by so many different names (e.g. the law of the vital few, the principle of factor sparsity), yet it really is the same thing: 80 percent of the results in any project come from 20 percent of the effort. It’s something that an Italian economist by the name of Vilfredo Pareto discovered while he was studying about the distribution of land in his country. Since then, this principle has been successfully applied to many different areas of life, including business.
Active Campaign says that while it’ll take some introspection to apply this principle to your own business, it’s important to do so. This lets you take a serious look at where you’re spending your efforts so you know what’s working to improve your business’ productivity. As you do this you may find that you should cut out a marketing channel that’s taking up a lot of your time, but it isn’t giving you much in the way of an ROI (return on investment). It’s also possible that you could find a client who’s taking a lot of your attention away from your other clients who are better clients.
Create a Business Plan
You can think of a business plan as the spine of your organization. Herein you’ll want to make sure that your goals, objectives, and projected growth rate are all outlined. The Next Scoop says having this type of plan in front of you will help you achieve your goals. It isn’t necessary for this to be in a specific format. You don’t even need to be so specific as to list sales numbers. Instead, you simply want to know how you’ll go about improving your business.
Due says that most business meetings are a huge waste of time. They prevent you from getting things done and essentially everyone walks away from them feeling bored. This is why you should handle most things through email. You’ll probably find that you can explain things more effectively in this way too. If you do need to have a meeting, you should make sure to create an agenda ahead of time so you’re 100 percent prepared before you walk in and sit down at the table. It’s also important to keep each meeting as short as possible and always end with actionable steps.
Learn How to Delegate
Creating communities is one of the best things you can do for your business. It’s so invaluable you can’t even put a price on it. This is because the various people you meet will influence your success and help open you up to new opportunities too. Sometimes this will happen naturally, but at other times you may have to be the one to build the community you’re seeking. This doesn’t have to be difficult though. You could simply create public discussion forums that help you generate new concepts, replenish your resources, and provide great feedback. Doing so won’t only benefit you, they’ll benefit your customers too. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to build or manage this type of a community, especially if you choose to involve people who don’t work for your business. Nevertheless, the effort you instill into this endeavor will be well worth it in the end.
Focus More on Core Activities
At the heart of your business are your core, essential activities. These are where most of your attention and time should be focused, especially if you want to be better than your competition.
It’s a good idea to outsource everything else to someone else. This will leave you more time and energy to focus on these core activities. Of course, only you know how much time and money you have available to use. Making wise decisions in regard to building market shares, managing down times, and developing new products or services before your competition does is vital here.
Outsource What you Can’t Automate
When you can’t automate something, conference speakers say you should outsource it instead. You’ll find that most virtual assistants are very reasonably priced and available to help you with numerous tasks. Even if you feel like balking at their prices, consider how much more productive they can make you and you’ll see that this would help offset such costs. There are so many things you can put a virtual assistant to work doing for you, including researching information, scheduling some of your personal appointments, running analytics and creating these reports for your business, or even automating other parts of your business. You honestly won’t believe how valuable this will be for you until you try it.
Increase Network as Much as Possible
The best way to promote your business and make it known is through word of mouth advertising. Networking with other business owners, experts, and entrepreneurs you meet in small business groups, online forums, or at community events will be very beneficial to your business. As such, you should never turn down an opportunity to participate in a local community function. This is a great way for people to learn that you exist and see what products or services you offer.
Don’t stress over the fact that you’ve been told that you must work harder to be more productive just because your business is smaller than those whom it’s competing with. While hard work is necessary, these tips should help you see that if you do it the right way, you won’t have to struggle nearly as much as you may first imagine yourself needing to. Instead, take your time and keep taking steps forward. Concentrated effort combined with a good amount of due diligence will most definitely be rewarded in due time.