Your small business is your baby and, in many cases, your main source of income. Therefore, the urge to (micro) manage and do everything yourself is strong. As a small business, we get it. Unfortunately, by continuing to wear all these hats, you’re risking your business’s success and keeping yourself trapped. The best part is that you can change that by making a few minor adjustments. You must remind yourself of your strengths and the goals you set for your company and build a plan to achieve them.
It’s not a good look…
Chances are if you run your own small business, you’re already working 24/7, right? Always thinking of new ideas, keeping up with every cost, creating content, the list is endless. Spreading yourself too thin and overworking will cause burnout. None of this is great for your business.
As a small business owner, the idea is to “work on” your business not “work in”. If don’t know anything about taxes, you’d hire an accountant. It’s the same mindset for the other roles in your company. Hiring professionals will be more efficient over time.
A tip from Tahlia’s diary
Do, ditch, delegate, diarise (Eisenhower matrix)
The idea is, that every day you sit down for 5 minutes and list out everything that needs doing that day. Then, draw out a matrix of four boxes and title each do, ditch, delegate, and diarise.
All the urgent jobs go under “do” and these will receive priority throughout the day.
The unnecessary tasks go under “ditch.” Maybe you planned to clean up your filing system today but must onboard two new clients this week, it’s obvious which is more pressing.
Delegate is the secondary “do” section. Important activities need to be completed but you might not have time, therefore, delegate to someone or put in for future planning.
Diarise is the section where tasks need future planning so don’t need to take up your time now.
This system will help you understand what tasks to complete so you stay on schedule.
Retain control by understanding how to delegate properly and creating brief
If you’re worried about relinquishing control, get comfortable with delegating properly. Create an ironclad brief so your staff know what to do and what is expected of them. This sounds much scarier than it is.
Focus on clear communication by creating an honest (and friendly) environment while upholding the importance of accountability.
No is a complete sentence
If you hate saying “no”, this one’s for you especially! As a small business owner, get comfortable saying “no.”
“No” is not negative. It’s neutral and simply a response to a question.
In essence, you must be comfortable with accountability and expectations. This transcends from employees to clients too. If you’re at maximum capacity for clients and someone approaches you, what will you do?
A great productivity hack for busy business owners is time blocking. It’s quite similar to Tahlia’s Diary matrix but focused on time management.
Time blocking is especially great for small business owners who want to improve their work-life balance, be more productive, and/or feel swamped by the amount of work.
Try time blocking today! Once you’ve sat down and completed your matrix, have a quick think about how much time you want to allocate to each task and do your best to stick to each allocated time slot. Of course, real life is never rigid and as a small business owner, your work is probably reactionary. So don’t feel bad if you have to readjust now and again or don’t stick to it 100%. Like anything, balance is important. If you stick to it 80% of the time, you’re boosting your productivity by 80%, right?!
While you’re here, why not take your marketing health check right now to see where your strengths are and discover new room for growth and opportunities.
For more small business advice, check out our other blogs: