How great SMB owners maintain their sanity and serenity
Running a Small Business, regardless of the service or product, is a high-stress undertaking in which you'll be tested at every step. It's an arena where victories big and small are constantly revealing themselves... but it's not always a walk in the park.
Chances are, as an SMB owner, you have to manage sales, marketing, shipping, purchasing, accounting, and customer support, all the while maintaining your home life and being present with your family. That's a lot to manage! With so many balls in the air, you need to quickly master time management and learn how to set priorities. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your game while working towards your big goals:
1. Treat your body like a temple
This first point cannot be overstated, because your body is the vehicle through which you accomplish everything. It's too easy, in the busy blur of the typical workweek, to forget to make time for physical fitness. Calendars fill up before you have a chance to include your body goals in the planning, and the next thing you know, you're burnt out, cranky, and not at all the fit, happy, SMB tycoon you imagined yourself as when you embarked on this journey.
The solution? Stop regarding fitness as a leisure activity, and start treating your sweat sessions as if they were super important, impossible-to-miss meetings - with yourself! Avoid fast and fatty foods that will make you feel sluggish - you need energy to build an empire, so fuel yourself well and always get enough rest so that you can wake up ready to tackle the day's challenges.
2. Treat your mind like a muscle
For a strong brain, flex it regularly. For a weak mind, just let yourself get bored. Experts believe you can keep your memory sharp and your mind clear simply by continuing to learn. So pursue hobbies, take special interest courses, do puzzles, make art, and read books. Life and business get busy, and while on our daily grinds, tasks can sometimes get monotonous and rut-forming. Never deny yourself the time to indulge in a bit of mental exercise!
3. Spread your responsibilities around
Some people say that if you want something done well, you'd better do it yourself. The problem with micromanaging, though, is that it puts all of the work on your own plate, which in turn slows down productivity because the work of your whole team rests on the shoulders of one person. Don't be the bottleneck in your business! Allow others to access the necessary info to keep things moving along, and hire good, trustworthy people that will make your life as a manager, easier. There are only so many hours in the day, and you're busy enough with the things that need to stay on your plate.
4. Plan for the future
When thinking about your staff members, how many can you honestly see sticking with your company into the future and beyond, and how many do you think view their job as more of a stepping-stone? Whenever you have hired in the past, were you hiring to build a team, or were you hiring in a rush to fill a position?
Putting a bit of extra forethought into the hiring process can save you a lot of time down the line, so it's worth it to take a moment to write out your goals with respect to the sort of staff members you're hoping to bring on, and be ready to pay them a respectable salary if you're hoping for respectable results.
5. Put your inventory management on autopilot
With SMBs, the old saying "time is money" is true in the most literal sense. If time is not spent wisely within a small business, profits go down and cash flow gets tight. That's why, no matter what stage of growth a business is in, it is always a smart move to put processes in place that will cut down on the time, effort, and resources it takes to pull off the arduous, everyday tasks that account for so much of your workday.
Just like warehouses need forklifts to move the inventory around, inventory needs a management system that keeps a perfect count of what comes in and what goes out across all sales platforms so that the hands and brainpower that drive your business forward are free to do what they really came to do: close sales and keep customers happy. Celebrate the fact that you and your business exist at a time when you can pay a nominal fee3 to be provided with this wealth of support and accounting precision so you can track all your sales. It means you don't have to be at your desk comparing spreadsheets when you could be out there scoring goals with your squad (who will also, by the way, have the ability to access inventory levels and create invoices and estimates from any device). One system turns any Internet-enabled space into an on-the-fly office - erplain can make it happen.