Small Steps To Make Big Improvements In Your Business
Whether you have already scaled your business to a one hundred person operation or you’re in it all on your own, improvement should always be at the top of your priorities. You have to be in it for the long haul and make consistent improvements, or you’ll be left behind in the dust.
Big changes will be required from time to time, but many of the steps you have to take will be much smaller. These things won’t seem like a huge deal at the time, but they will make a world of difference and have a big impact on your business in the end. With that in mind, here are ten small steps you can take that will make big improvements in your business.
1. Look Your Best
Working for yourself means that you can wear whatever you want, especially if your office is the sofa, but it doesn’t always mean that you should. Although you could walk into work in your favorite jeans and hoodie, dressing smartly and looking your best is the better choice. It shows other people that you are a professional, boosts your self-confidence and self-respect, and also helps to keep you productive throughout the day. On top of this, it sets an example for your team and shows what you expect of them. Even if your team is just your kids!
2. Write To-Do Lists
Managing any business requires a lot of work, so there are going to be a number of jobs you need to complete each day. With so many tasks to do, it would be easy to forget one or two. If you want to avoid this, then you need to write a to-do list of everything you need to get done. In fact, you may even want to write two – One containing things you need to get done right away, and one with jobs you need to do, but can wait if necessary. Take a read of my post on getting organized for more tips on this by clicking here.
3. Prepare Each Night
When possible, it always makes sense to prepare for the next day of work. Often, all this means is looking over your schedule for the day ahead so that you know exactly what to expect the following morning. However, you may also want to get a few things done to help you out, like making your lunch, deciding on an outfit, or sorting your bag. These jobs may only take a few minutes, but doing them the night before means you have a few extra minutes spare in the morning.
4. Start Work Quickly
When you get to the office in the morning, you should try to start your work as soon as possible. This means cutting your work-starting routine to fifteen minutes or less, and getting on with the jobs you have planned for the day. People are often at their most productive in the morning, so you don’t want to waste this energy making coffee, checking messages, reading emails, and just generally settling in. Instead, you want to use it for the vital work you have scheduled. I know that if I procrastinate in the morning then that first half an hour of non productivity turns into an hour quite easily.
5. Keep Essentials Close
Throughout the day, there are several things you need quite a lot, including pens, paper, other stationery items, food, and water. Rather than get up to grab these things, you should keep them somewhere close to you, like in your desk drawer. This means that you won’t have to waste time rummaging, and won’t have to get back into the flow of working once you’ve found what you need. This also limits the risk of you getting distracted by something else.
6. Limit Your Interruptions
When you’re interrupted while you’re working, it can really mess up your flow. More often than not, it takes at least several minutes to get back into your work, which means that you end up spending longer than you need to on your task. This wastes time and money, so it’s crucial that you limit interruptions as much as you can. Put your phone on silent and in a drawer somewhere so that notifications don’t distract you and keep everything you might need close to your workspace. When working from home it is also wise to make other members of your household know that you are at work. Take a read of my post on the realities of working from home by clicking here.
7. Take Regular Breaks
It’s important to stay focused while you’re working, but that doesn’t mean that you should work for the entire day without having any breaks. In fact, all this will do is tire you out, which will make you lose focus and become more unproductive. Because of this, you need to make sure that you take regular breaks throughout the day. This means getting up from your desk and going somewhere away from your workspace, even if it’s just to grab a coffee.
8. Use Wasted Time
When you’ve got so much to do each day, wasting time is incredibly frustrating. Unfortunately, the odd delay is inevitable, so instead of getting wound up, you should use the time wisely. Wherever you go, make sure that you take something to fill up any spare time. This could be a book or even just your phone with videos or podcasts to watch or listen to. This way, even though you’re not technically working, you’re still putting the extra minutes to good use.
9. Pump Yourself Up
When you’re running a business, things are going to go wrong, mistakes are going to be made, and the future is going to look uncertain at times. Of course, it’s stressful and scary, but that doesn’t mean that you should let it defeat you. Instead, you need to learn how to pump yourself up and keep yourself going when times get tough. You need to stay positive, stay focused, and be willing to do what is needed to get things done.
10. Ask For Support
You may be running your company alone, but that doesn’t mean that you have to deal with all of the hard times alone too. It’s important that you know how to give yourself a boost, but when things are looking really rough, it is okay to lean on your friends and family too. They may not understand the ins and outs of running a business, but they understand and love you and will want to help you when you’re struggling.
11. Learn To Delegate
You may be the boss, but that doesn’t mean that you should be doing everything yourself. Letting go of the reins isn’t easy, but if you want to avoid burnout and stay at the top of your game, then you need to learn to delegate. This could mean hiring permanent staff to work for you, or it could mean outsourcing to companies like DSC Personnel. There are pros and cons for each option, so think about the types of tasks you have and decide which is most appropriate.
12. Watch Your Health
It’s impossible to work your best when you’re not well, which is why it’s so important that you take care of yourself and your health. You need to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep each night, that you sit down to eat three healthy meals each day, and that you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. You should also try to exercise for at least thirty minutes every day and visit your doctor for regular checkups.
13. Note Your Stressors
Everyone feels stressed now and then, but feeling stressed all the time isn’t right and it isn’t healthy. Unfortunately, when you’re running a business, you have a lot of stress to deal with, which is why it’s so important that you manage your stress properly. There are several things that you can do to try to reduce your stress, like ensuring your day is organized, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. You may also want to speak to your doctor if you feel that stress is getting the better of you.
14. Ask For Feedback
No company is perfect, but when you’re in charge, it can be difficult to see places for you to improve. Thankfully, there are plenty of people around you to offer their opinions and feedback. Speak to family, friends, employees, clients, and customers and ask them what they think you should do to be more productive, offer better service, or just generally improve. You’d be surprised at just how many suggestions and ideas you’ll be offered. Obviously I have the community within Wealthy Affiliate that I turn to for this. If you want to find out more about Wealthy Affiliate then read my post by clicking here.
15. Learn From Mistakes
Running a business isn’t an easy thing to do, and you can’t learn how to do it from books, articles, or TV shows. Of course, learning as much as you can does help you out in the long run, but it won’t stop you from making the odd mistake. When you do make a mistake and things go wrong, it’s vital that you keep your head up high and keep moving forward. Instead of giving up, learn from the things you’ve done wrong and don’t make the same mistakes again.
If you want your business to succeed and grow to become even bigger and better than it is now, then you need to be consistently improving. Thankfully, when it comes to improving your business, it’s the little changes that often make the biggest difference. If you’re not sure where to start making improvements in your own business, then use a few of the suggestions listed above and get to work right away.
I hope you have found this post useful, I’m sure we all can pinpoint at least one of these ideas that we can improve on. If you think it might help someone else please give it a share on your favourite social media platform. Sharing is Caring!
If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences, leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
With Grace and Gratitude