Tips for busy small business owners
Finding time to drive your business forward can be difficult if you are always caught up in day-to-day operational tasks. Essential work such as researching, planning and strategising tends to fall off your to-do list. In this series, we’re offering practical tips that will help you win back some time and give you the capacity to focus on achieving your business growth goals.
The best way to get anything done in your business is to operate like a project manager. Applying project management best practice and tools can help you more efficiently plan and prioritise important tasks and increases your chances of getting them done.
Key to this is building a routine and a process for generating, storing and executing your ideas and tasks. We’ve made it super easy for you to get started by creating a FREE project planning template for your business:
Here’s how to use it:
Ever been doing something completely unrelated to your business – washing the dishes, driving the kids to school, or taking a shower – and had an absolute brainwave that you know will generate masses of sales?
When inspiration strikes, jot down the basic outline of your idea and when you have more time, break the idea down into a step-by-step action plan and add it to your project planner. Now when you’re ready you can tackle each task systematically. If you apply this even for seemingly small tasks or ideas, you’ll guarantee you don’t forget any of the detail when you are in a position to follow through.
Make time each month, or as you finish your projects, to review your project planner and choose the most urgent, timely, or important objectives. Rather than working with big lofty goals, break each objective, no matter how small, into milestones. Then break each milestone into step-by-step, actionable tasks until you have a complete plan for what is required to achieve your goal.
This might require some research and planning to ensure your task list is complete. By breaking each objective down in this way, it will seem much less daunting and much more achievable. Set yourself a realistic deadline for each task.
At the start of each week review your project plan and check which tasks are due. Be sure to review all your tasks and assign or change their status – green for complete, orange for in-progress or red for delayed. Also, check your planner each morning to preview what tasks you have for the day. Be sure to give your tasks the time and focus they deserve. By completing each small task when you intend to, you will quickly start achieving your milestones and your bigger objectives.
Be sure to keep documenting your objectives and ideas in your project plan as you complete your tasks, and review your priorities each month.
See more from the series: