Do you love your small business? I do. And then I don’t. And then I do again. Once you jump on the roller coaster of small business ownership it’s a bit addictive and hard to get off. We experience some of our lowest-lows but also learn what we’re capable of when we don’t give up on something.
I was guilty of the 3 things below in the early stages of my business. Now I know that just by changing even 1 of these things today we can:
- Ride out the hard times so that we can stay in the game longer
- Increase our profits
- Improve our mental health
- Love our business more
1. Working without an income goal
Do you remember the day you applied for your ABN? Maybe it was 6 weeks ago, maybe it was 6 years ago. You made the decision to go out on your own and finally start your business. I’m also guessing that you had a vision of yourself being successful and bringing in a good income that could give you the life you wanted for yourself or your family.
Your chances of having a successful business are greatly reduced if you leave your finances to the Business Fairies and hope for the best.
You can be as high-tech or low-tech as you want about setting your income goals.
Grab a pen, a Post-it note and write down a figure. If writing down a yearly figure overwhelms you, write down what you want to earn next month. Look at what you made over the last few months, decide on a figure that’s reasonable based on what you’ve been bringing in and then bump it up a little. Hey – bump it up a lot of that’s what you want (but just be prepared to put in the hard yards required to get there).
No matter how you decide to do it, don’t leave it hiding. Write it down, print it out or have it as your laptop screen saver. As you’re making decisions each day, you want that income goal to be front of mind as you’re making each decision.
Having income goals is one of the easiest and most important steps you can take right now to achieve your business and life goals.
2. Doing it all on your own
As small business owners, we often take pride in the fact that we’re able to wear all the different hats needed to keep our small business running.
However, don’t underestimate the power of outsourcing when it comes to growing your business and boosting your confidence as a business owner. Start with baby steps if that’s what you need to do – a couple of hours a week or per month.
For me personally, I enjoy the creativity that comes with creating my social media posts however I over-think, waste time experimenting and then stress over what I’ve posted.
It came to a point where I realised my mental energy needed to be spent on looking after my bookkeeping clients and growing my business. I searched the SA Woman directory and found an amazing virtual assistant to help me with my social media – and I’m so glad I did.
Why not take 15 minutes now to write down something you can outsource. Some suggestions include:
- Social media
- Website updating or creating
- Implementing new technology
- Event planning
- Meal prep
- House cleaning
3. Operating without systems
Okay, so this one isn’t so sexy (the reason I left it until last ?). But it’s another one you can start by just taking baby steps and chipping away at, as you have time.
Think about anything you do more than once. What procedure can you put in place to ensure that task is done in a consistent, efficient manner each time and could theoretically be performed by anyone.
Michael E. Gerber (author of the excellent “The E-Myth Revisited”) emphasises the importance of working towards a business that could work without you. A business that is systems-dependent and not people-dependent.
Looking at the bigger picture, having good systems will allow you to step away from the business and take time off, as well as improve the salability of your business. Personally, I find that having systems reduces overwhelm and ensures my work is performed in a consistent, timely manner for my clients every time.
Some ideas for documenting your own systems to get started:
- Onboarding new clients (checklists, email templates, Agreement templates)
- New employee procedures
- Tax time checklist
- Checklist for opening/closing your store each day
- Bookkeeping procedures
What do you think? Is it time to stop doing these 3 things?
CONNECT WITH SARINA:
Facebook: Festival Bookkeeping
Blog: Savvy Bookkeeping
Sarina is the self-confessed numbers nerd behind Festival Bookkeeping, an Adelaide based bookkeeping practice. A South Australian all her life – from the bush to the city – Sarina named her business Festival Bookkeeping after the Festival State.
Through working with many small business owners Sarina has gained an absolute appreciation and understanding of what it takes to run a successful small business. Festival Bookkeeping has been built on the foundations of not only quality bookkeeping but also of being a loyal supporter and adviser for small business owners as they navigate their lows and achieve their highs.
Sarina is a Xero adviser and registered BAS Agent. She also writes regularly on her blog The Savvy Bookkeeping Blog, sharing her views and tips on all things small business bookkeeping. The Savvy Bookkeeping Blog has been named in the Top 40 of Bookkeeping blogs.