The focus on small business continues this week in recognition of Small Business Week. A recent article by ISLTV.com featured the secrets to small business. This article cites a survey conducted by RBC Small Business by Ipsos Reid. The survey results revealed the following as the top three components business owners need to focus on in order to grow their business:
2) manage your time well (43 per cent)
3) engage in networking (38 per cent).
Set Your Direction and Create a Plan
As an entrepreneur I can definitely concur with these key findings of this survey — but this information is nothing new. When I work with my clients who are plodding along unsatisfied with their business success, I am regularly surprised by how many do not have a business plan or written goals. How do you know where you want to go if you don’t have a plan and goals? How will you know when you get there if you haven’t tracked your progress?
A business plan doesn’t have to be a long, complicated but like all plans, it takes you on a journey that helps you decide what you want to strive for, and how you plan to get there. A business plan is a way for you to think big — bigger than you can think when in the “thick of things” in everyday life.
Allocate Your Time
Time management is critical if you want to achieve more in less time. Entrepreneurs frequently work long hours, rarely taking enough time off to rejuvenate themselves. E-mail and social media are two communication tools that offer businesses an easy way to connect with their clients, but are often viewed as a votex that leads them down a black hole and has little return on investment (ROI). The RBC Survey indicated that most businesses should spend time aggressively finding new clients, yet this was also cited as a major challenge (60 per cent).
Each day establish your priorities, block time for each item that must be done, and diarize future tasks. Stay focused when working – multitasking isn’t as efficient and as effective as we commonly think it is!
Review and Rejig
Success is achieved my monitoring and adjusting as you go. At the end of each week, take time to review your progress – what was your key learning ? At the end of each month or each quarter, take time to review your plan, your goals and your progress. Are you reaching key milestones? Are you plans still focused in the right direction? Are there any changes to be made?
Yes, as a business owner it is important for you to take time out from your desk to connect with other people. When you connect with others, you are able to establish relationships that you can draw on for yourself or your clients. This Power Network is a critical component for a growing business. Business is done with people we know, like and trust. When you network, focus on what you can do for others, rather than on what you are selling.
If you look at every successful person, you will find they are great networkers. They establish a strong network with people at all levels, in a variety of industries and in a variety of ways. Some are mentors, some are business colleagues, while others are met through business groups, conferences, participation on board of directors or in sports etc.
Another finding in this survey is the need for business owners to get help (25 per cent). Your power network provides support, encouragement and can help you find your next big opportunity. An executive coach offers you an opportunity to connect with someone who is as committed to your business success as you are. Their impartial approach, and probing questions prompt you to remain accountable to your business plan, your goals all the while.
If life was easy it wouldn’t be worth living,
that is why we have obstacles we over come and
friends to help so we won’t have to do it alone.