Achieving your Goals
When deciding to become an entrepreneur, there are always going to be problems with knowing how to manage your time. Not only do you have to think about how to prioritise tasks throughout the week, you also have to schedule time off so that you remain fresh and motivated.
Technology is simplifying almost every aspect of running a business and now more then ever the ‘world is your oyster’. With tools and platforms from Salesforce and Adobe to Twitter and Facebook- you can reach almost anyone in the world whilst digitalising most aspects of work. All of this reduces the cost of running a business; Slack for example, is built so that you can work remotely instead of at an office space. Teamviewer allows for live interactions within your browser for simple online demonstrations. For design enthusiasts there is also Canva, which offers a simple but effective tool for creating content to advertise your business. Wunderlist is a great personal productivity tool, which allows you to prioritise tasks through the creation of lists. It is often the simplest tools, which offer the biggest impact on your daily routine.
Your customers can grow through a variety of platforms as well, which can be measured and marketed to reach more people. Having a strong social media presence is increasingly become vital for any business- regardless of size. From the brand titans like Walmart to your local plumber, everyone is now thinking about entering the digital space and using the many tools available.
Once you have decided the tools you need for your business, organising the amount of time to use for each one is the next priority. Make sure to include the general goals of the business in as well. Divide your time up by tasks that require different lengths of time. For example, your social media strategy may require daily attention whilst, doing your tax return for HRMC will only be once a year. This helps organise your business objectives by providing structure. Think about the goals you want to achieve, what are the long-term objectives? Is growth more important then profitability or vice versa?
Ask for advice, mentors can offer a great helping hand through their previous experiences. Many young entrepreneurs have often had mentors in the early stages of learning how to grow and run a business. You can’t do it all yourself, there is simply too much to learn. From technical skills to sales teams to marketing, it’s important to have some perspective whilst you begin your journey. However, you must be careful not to rely on all this advice, your instincts are just as important to develop and understand as well.
You also don’t want to over-plan though, as this can leave you with no room for manoeuvre. If for example you have an event or life circumstance, you will no longer be able to stick with your plan. It’s also important to think about your work/life balance. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are almost as important to you, as running your business. It does not matter if it’s a brisk walk around your local park or a visit to the gym- breaking up the day and looking after yourself is critical to your own productivity. Think about your social life as well; give yourself time off occasionally to visit friends and family. It is always important to be able to ‘switch off’ and socialise outside of work and your business.
Managing time is not only critical for you but also for others. Teamwork is important for any business to function properly and communication plays a huge role within this. Delegate responsibility as soon as you can, teaching others how you would like the tasks done is an important step in developing key relationships with your co-workers. This not only saves you time but also gives others responsibility. Do not be afraid to let go and always be ready to offer support where necessary. Managing people can be stressful in itself; but knowing your own limitations is more important. As your organisation grows, you will simply not have enough time to do all the tasks required. Some people may have different strengths and weaknesses to you and making the most of this difference will ensure that your team produces the best work possible.
Becoming an entrepreneur is a skill for life and sometimes the very people you least expect to do so, are often the best. It can start off with a basic question or solving a problem anyone can relate to but only you have thought of. More often then not there are just two possible outcomes: you either do something better or differently, from others. There are no real rules though and sometimes-sheer determination can be the key difference between success and failure.
However, do not be afraid of failure, its an important learning curve to how you will develop the necessary skills and experience for the future. Think constructively about what went wrong or why you didn’t reach your goals and try to problem solve around it. Communicate with others to find out why your business did not work- was it the marketing, the sales or technical teams? Perhaps the leadership was too inexperienced, what lessons did you learn? Carry this forward to your next project and learn by doing rather then sitting around waiting for it to happen. It can be an exhausting process but be honest and realistic- an important part of leadership is listening to people and responding accordingly.