Consistency is the most important part of being a successful small business owner. Big wins and bursts of revenue are exciting, but that’s not how you grow your idea into a real company. Steady revenue and return customers may not make headlines, but that’s what your goal should be. The problem you face is making sure your daily performance stays consistent.
Put Leisure Aside
It’s important to engage in self-care. Ignoring your own well-being in an effort to put in more work is often counterproductive, leading to lowered productivity and burnout. Unfortunately, many small business owners have taken this idea too far and have allowed luxury to take precedence over responsibility.
All those fun things will still be there waiting for you after you’re done with work. Get things done as soon as you can. The sooner you get your schedule cleared, the more time you’ll have for leisure. More importantly, sorting important tasks out gives you room to react should anything go wrong.
Your Business is a Stepping Stone
Unless your joy lies in working, your small business is a tool towards what you truly want. Even if you enjoy your product or industry, you’re likely not in it to work on it forever. What you want are the benefits of having a successful small business. You want financial independence, wealth, and the freedom and power those two things gives you. Remembering that you’re not supposed to stay in the company as it is now can drive you to greater and greater heights.
To a small business, the worst word is “stagnate.” Having nothing change or develop in a day represents a massive waste. You’ll never get that day back, and there’s always something to do. If you’re having trouble figuring out what else you can do for the company, do something that makes you more valuable. Exercise may not be directly related, for example, but staying healthy assures that you can withstand the stress the company will heap on you.
It doesn’t end with you, however. If you’ve done what you can and there’s still time free, get involved in communities. Develop relationships with people in your industry and your partners. Look for mentors. Help other small business owners want. The more relationships you build, the more allies you could potentially have.
Understand Perfection and How It Fits
The desire for perfection is a big part of your small business. It’s what will drive you to constantly innovate and improve your offering. This desire will push you to further forward, if you let it. Unfortunately, it’s often taken the wrong way. Throughout history, many have considered perfection the only acceptable outcome. For your small business to thrive, you can’t make that mistake.
Perfection is impossible. There is no single perfect product. Flaws will come, whether you want them to or not. They could come from manufacturing, design, or even the whims of the market. But the concept of perfection shouldn’t leave entirely. It can, if expectations are managed well, remain a shining goal, something that says you can always do better. At worst, it’ll keep you from resting on your laurels.
Do Things ASAP
Procrastination is the slow death. You may get things done eventually, but as the head of the small business, your procrastination affects many of your employees. Late orders or late responses hold up the production line, which affects overall productivity. Slow starts force you to rush towards the end, which compromises quality. The sooner you get things done, the more efficient everyone will be, and the better they’ll perform.
This works on a macro level as well. Frontloading your months or quarters with accomplishments and finished tasks leaves the tail end available for crisis management, analysis, and adjustment. Often, this can snowball into advantages come the next month, which can lead to even more lead time and better output.
Staying highly productive seems like it will burn anyone out, but the secret is this: being super-productive doesn’t mean working all the time. It means making the most out of the time you do have. If you want your small business to thrive under your leadership, it’s a distinction you must embrace.