You may have heard the idiom “seeing the forest for the trees” before, and you probably understand the importance of staying focused on the big picture (the forest) instead of the minor details of each tree. Small business owners almost always start out focused on both – in order to obtain a small business loan, it is necessary to develop a business plan that details how the business will operate and function, become profitable and grow and develop in the future.
Keep In Line With Your Vision
Most small business owners eventually realize that losing sight of the forest isn’t due to laziness or a myopic focus – it’s because the individual trees are catching fire, and it takes every ounce of effort to prevent the entire forest from burning down! Whether it’s simply keeping your business profitable and paying your bills, dealing with staffing issues or regulatory hurdles, it seems like many small businesses simply can’t catch a break. What are some steps you can take to refocus your business on the bigger picture? While there may be no magical solutions to dealing with many of the problems small businesses face, there are ways to alleviate daily crises and shift the focus back to your long-term goals.
Organize And Prioritize Your Goals And Tasks
While this may sound obvious and even trite, many professionals and small business owners are surprised to learn that disorganization and a lack of focus are often the cause, either directly or indirectly, of many of the day-to-day crises that cripple small businesses. Simply putting off or forgetting to complete a project can result in a crisis farther down the road, so getting a handle on your goals and tasks now can lead to a reduction in daily “fires” that have to be put out. Research established systems for organization, including a daily “to-do” list, or develop your own.
Learn When To Take Charge And When To Delegate
Many small business owners don’t know how to effectively delegate, and many times projects and tasks go unfinished or even forgotten because no one is asked to lend a helping hand. A prime example of this is creating and posting content marketing to blogs and social media accounts – often a small business owner will pledge to update a blog and social media accounts on their own and then neglect these resources as other issues take control of their time. Unless you’re a super hero that doesn’t require sleep, chances are there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything yourself, and delegating a task to trusted employee or a third-party can help ensure that valuable assets and resources aren’t neglected or forgotten.
Focus On Your Employees
The backbone of every small business is its employees – they are often on the frontlines of your business, and the actions of even one incompetent or poor-performing employee can cripple the reputation of a small business. If you are struggling to hire and retain good employees, consider taking a new approach to your recruitment and hiring process and, if possible, consider allocating more money or other resources to employee payroll and/or benefits.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and in over your head, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of a third-party. Luckily, there are many different types of advisers, consultants and contractors that are available to step in and assist you in getting your small business back on track. Hiring a third-party is sometimes not feasible, but that doesn’t mean that you’re on your own – you can establish a support network by joining or participating in events and classes at your local chamber of commerce and partnering with other small businesses and business owners, and many local, state and national organizations offer online resources you can also utilize. Don’t forget to seek out partners, friends and family that may be able to provide advice and support as well.