There are ups and downs when it comes to your business. If you are like the hundreds of thousands of other business owners out there, you will have profitable months and months where you wish you never even opened your doors. You will customers who love you and hate you at the same time. You will have employees giving you everything they got and some who would rather be Snapchatting all day long.
It happens. From the highest powered organization to the smallest boutique in the country, we all struggle with similar issues. So how can you take steps to make sure you limit these unavoidable circumstances? That’s where I am here to help.
1. Make Your Business Systematic
Think of a factory. There are designated stations where only one job is completed at a time without worry about what the next guy is doing a few feet away. Each employee and piece of machinery has a single task or series of tasks they have to accomplish before passing it to the next guy.
This is what you need to run your business like.
You need to be thinking about your business through the lens of a factory. It’s all about the systems. It doesn’t matter what you provide, produce, or sell. Get a piece of paper and take your business and break it down into every possible stage, every single step. No task is too small to include. Once you have (presumable) a very large list of steps, you can begin to separate them into stages. These stages can be assigned to a single employee, a team of employees, or even yourself if you are just starting out.
The overall goal of outlining the steps of your business is to water it down to a step-by-step formula that eliminates any wasted time and energy and allows you to get a clear picture of how your operation functions.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of Technology
Many people in business seem to be more afraid of technology than the traditional person. The typical person has no problem downloading an app on their phone and using it, but a business owner has traditionally opted for the “old school” pen and paper method of getting things done and keeping records.
Technology is your friend, especially in the business world. You don’t need to be worried about computers crashing and all your data being lost forever. It’s not like it was in the early 2000s. Computing is so much more secure and stable than it was in the past, and it is specifically designed to make our lives easier.
I am always surprised by how many business owners either don’t know about or don’t use a CRM system. Again, it doesn’t matter what industry or type of business you are running, a good CRM system will save you thousands of headaches a month and help you put more time into what matters: great customer service and a great product.
Some (FREE) CRM examples:
3. Separate Your Business and Personal Life
Your business shouldn’t follow you home. I know it’s hard when you are a small business owner, and even more so when you are the only one doing any work, but it’s something you need to work on.
There is this thing called “burnout”. Professional athletes have it all the time. It’s when you work so hard at one thing that it consumes your entire life, and eventually you get to a point where you hate it so much and never want to do anything with it ever again. Business owners get burnt out all the time. They devote their entire lives to a business, sometimes up to 80-90 hours a week, and after a few years they lose all the passion they initially had and just give up.
Don’t let this happen. Even the most passionate person can get burnt out, all it takes is time. You need to be able to turn the business off when you walk into your home. The emails can wait until the following morning. The phone calls can go to your voice mail. Take your business/office hours and live by them. You are in 100% work mode from 9-5 but as soon as you get home you are in relax/life mode.
You didn’t create a business just to give yourself a job. You did it to create a lifestyle and build something. What is the point of all that if you never stop to relax and enjoy life a little?