It’s easy to get distracted given the countless details that come with running a successful business. If you’re ready to outshine your competitors and take your business to a whole new level, there are five things you need to start doing today:
Proper investment of time versus money is an art. Smart outsourcing ensures that a qualified professional handles every aspect of your business and frees up your time to focus on the parts of your business you’re best at.
If you’re used to running a one-person operation, it’s natural to feel anxious about giving up control and trusting others with your hard-earned money. The beauty of outsourcing is that it doesn’t have to come with high financial risk — since you don’t have to commit to hiring full-time or permanent staff, you can try it out in small steps.
Try an experiment: Identify one relatively simple task and outsource it to an independent contractor for a temporary position of a week or two. Commit to using those extra hours to work on something you’ve been putting off. At the end of the week, evaluate your results. You might be surprised at the time you end up saving for a minimal investment.
Evaluate your current strategy to ensure that you’re automating everything you possibly can without detracting from the quality of your product or service. If you’re still struggling to keep on top of everything but you’re not sure what to change, you may need to consider adjusting your business model or product offerings.
For example, if you find yourself spending intensive hours each day addressing queries about minor items, you may benefit from trimming back your product line, instead investing in a PPC campaign to promote higher ticket items that require less customer maintenance. In many cases, less is more.
- Use an autoresponder to send out pre-written email blasts to your subscribers.
- Introduce a policy to curate a higher percentage of your content.
- Use HTML forms to streamline staff intake processes.
Successful entrepreneurs learn by doing. It’s entirely possible to build a multimillion-dollar business without ever having gone to college, but if you really want to maximize your long-term potential, you can’t neglect to invest in self improvement.
There are an abundance of quality learning resources available online. Sites like CourseBuffet make it easy to browse an array of free courses offered by top universities. You can also try out subscription-based learning services such as Lynda.com. If you’re interested in improving your skills in SEO, social media marketing or web analytics, check out Udemy for a wide variety of affordable courses to help boost your business.
Perhaps the most common obstacle to success for today’s entrepreneur is lack of focus. Allowing yourself to become distracted at the most critical times of the day can be detrimental. Try out these tips for eliminating distractions in your daily routine:
- Check emails only at certain times of the day.
- Resolve to put aside any interesting blog posts or articles you come across during the day.
- Each morning, identify one major task and assign the best hours of your day to work on getting results.
We all do our best work when we’re feeling inspired. It’s crucial to take some real time off every now and then — that is, time spent thinking about anything other than your business.
Often, all it takes is a change of pace to break the cycle of monotony and get re-energized. For example, if you’re an extrovert, attend after-work meet-ups with locals who share your interests. If you enjoy reading, ask your friends what books have inspired them lately and set aside some reading time during your daily coffee breaks. Once you’re feeling rejuvenated, take advantage of the opportunity to tackle that big fish you’ve been putting off.
Old habits are hard to break, so don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to find your groove. Once you do, you won’t look back.
Robert Sofia is a best-selling author, award winning public speaker, and financial industry thought leader. He has developed marketing strategies for Fortune 500® companies, consulted with over 1,000 companies nationwide, and is the cofounder of Platinum Advisor Strategies – ranked #362 on the INC 5,000 list of America’s fastest growing privately owned companies in 2013, and #10 on the Agency 100 list of the nation’s fastest growing agencies.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.