This is the fourth part of our Challenge Accepted series (be sure to read the earlier blogs of the series Bring Order to My Messy Books,  How to Set Up Your Business Properly, and Compliance Issues – What Are They and How Can I Avoid Them). Successful business owners need to be good at setting priorities.  

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one definition of priority is “something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives”. There are so many things that need our attention, both with our business and with our personal lives, so we all need to set priorities to help us to accomplish what is most important to us.

Challenge

We all have many things to take care of.  It can be hard to determine what items should be taken care of first.  Oftentimes business owners can feel overwhelmed or unfocused which can lead to the making of poor business decisions. 

Solutions

  • Begin with yourself
  • Set up short-term and long-term goals
  • Stay focused on YOUR Priorities 
  • Schedule time in your week to focus on business goals 

Begin with yourself

It all starts with you! After all, you were the reason that this business came about. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do I see myself in five, ten years, twenty years?
  • Why did I want to start my business? 
  • How should my business fit into my life?
  • What do I desire most (this might be time, wealth, peace, etc.)  in my life?

Set up short-term and long-term goals

Think about your answers to the questions above. Review your business plan and see what you have achieved and what you still want to achieve.  Your business plan may need to be updated.  Acknowledge your wins, as sometimes in the struggle to keep moving forward we forget to acknowledge how far we have come. 

Set two or three targets to focus on. You may want to have financial goals, such as revenue growth or expense tracking, and non-financial goals, such as the number of new network contacts or the number of new product lines or services. Be sure to write down your goals too.

Break down these goals even further.  What could you work on to achieve each goal for the next 90 days?  For the next six months?  For the next year?  When you set the goals to be something that is achievable, you are more likely to stay motivated.

Stay focused on YOUR priorities

Now that you have a good idea of what your goals are and how and when you want to achieve them, it is time to lighten your load a little. Look through your regular schedule of work and see if there is anything that you can outsource.  You should be focusing on the things that only you can do.

Often time compliance work is one of the easiest terms to outsource. You can stay focused on your craft and hire professionals to do much in the other categories. Bookkeeping, marketing, payroll, scheduling, and administrative tasks are examples of tasks that can be outsourced.

Schedule time in your week to focus on your business goals

Have you ever noticed that if you don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen? Well, the same is true for your business planning and implementation. If you don’t schedule a time to work on your business goals, time will slip away from you. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start with just one hour a week
  • Block the time on your calendar- view it with the same seriousness as you would with a meeting with a client
  • Be willing to have open discussions with your team to get buy-in on goals or suggestions on how to reach goals 

Drop us a line to let us know what priorities you have chosen to work on.  Sharing your goals makes you accountable.  Being accountable can help you reach your goals.  Reaching your goals brings success.

Stay tuned for Part Five of our Challenge Accepted Series on Am I profitable? How much can I pay myself?