It’s very difficult to grow your business when you’re already overwhelmed. When you’re really ready to hit “grow”, you’ll need to make some tough choices. And, it’s not about working more hours.
As a growth advisor and strategic business coach to small business owners, I’ve discovered one major glitch that prevents most from growing their business as desired. Those struggling to grow suffer from a lack of bandwidth. With days filled with information overload, distractions, interruptions, putting out fires, and tending to daily activities, seldom is there additional time to launch a growth initiative.
You can’t keep doing business the way it’s always been done and expect your outcomes to be dramatically different. In order to grow with any momentum, it has to be business NOT as usual.
Don’t Do This — Do This Instead
1. Cerebral snacking. Precious time is wasted when one randomly clicks from one online article to another without purpose or intention. You’re led down a rabbit hole that creates little value to growing your business. Like the 8 ball in a vigorous game of pool, you’re bounced from one part of the web to another.
Instead of mental munching, focus your efforts on a specific topic. Don’t just read — learn! What do you want to improve in your business? Do you have a clear understanding of growth strategies, including the one being used to grow your business? How about your value proposition? Is it producing the outcomes you want?
Do This: Focus your learning efforts on topics of importance to your business growth. You’ll soon be able to move the dial on your growth rate.
2. Social media randomness. Ah, yes. How we love social media…or not. Randomly poking around on social media with no clear objective only serves to dilute one’s focus.
Although some see it as a nice stress reliever or break from work, a walk around the block or a few yoga stretches does more to clear your brain and relieve your stress. In fact, studies now prove that “taking 10 outside” — that is, 10 minutes in the fresh outdoor air — has a direct impact on performance. Hey, who can argue with facts, right?
Do This: Be calculated. Invest time on social media based on your goals and objectives to grow your business.
3. Overcommitment. My first business coach pointed out that I was “a yes waiting to happen”…and she was right! My schedule was overflowing with commitments, personally and professionally, yet my business was not growing. Why? Those commitments weren’t tied to any of my business goals. I was busy — going nowhere.
It’s tough saying “no” to others. However, when you say “yes” to someone or something that has no direct correlation to your goals, you say “no” to yourself, your business, and your future.
Do This: Say “yes” to yourself and your goals more often.
4. Email grazing. Aaaahhhhhh! Email has turned from a dream tool to an absolute nightmare. Unfortunately, its been of our own doing. Habits during which your email program is kept open for the entirety of the day sucks opportunities from your business.
Have you ever tracked the amount of time spent each day on email? It’s shocking! The constant interruption of email drains precious time (and energy) from your business that could be redirected to your growth initiative.
Do This: Set up 2-3 times in a day during which you respond to email communication. Replace e-newsletter subscriptions with Feedly. Cease social media notifications non-vital email communication.
5. Unnecessary meetings. I recently read a comment from a business owner who, after one full year, stopped all “get-to-know-you coffees” due to lack of results. One could argue that a change in technique may have improved her results but who can’t relate to the time waste of unfruitful meetings.
Frankly, I’m a real fan of virtual meetings. The same objective can be accomplished in 30 minutes that robs 3-4 hours from your day. That’s 3-4 hours that can be invested into moving my growth initiative forward!
Do This: Rethink intentions, desired outcomes, and tools used for meetings to maximize effectiveness.
What do you need to grow your business? Bandwidth!
When do you want it? Now!
Each one of these points contributes to the overwhelm most small business owners feel — and not in a good way. Combined, they easily steal 6-8 hours from your week. This is meaningful and significant time to redirect to your growth initiative that can make the difference between success and survival for your business.
More to grow your bandwidth:
- Learn to Use Time Wisely in Your Small Business
- Forget Work-Life Balance! Productive Small Business Owners Aim for Work-Life Groove
- Small Business Performance Solution: Get the Right Things Done
- 7 Things the Pros Want Entrepreneurs to Know About Juggling
- The New Killer Email App for Entrepreneurs: You