October is small business month, so let’s about how small business owners are superheroes. Small business owners often touch every single aspect of the day-to-day operations and it’s important to know the ins and outs of how the business runs so you can keep experiencing big wins.
Remember that not every small business owner WANTS to get bigger than they are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep reaching and growing your business in many other ways. Or maybe you DO want to grow your business. Regardless of where you’re at with your business goals, here are some ways you can supercharge your small business to help you reach your business goals.
Create a wish list
We are often so limited by budgets, time, and other resources that we close ourselves off to opportunities that may come up. It’s also easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can’t do anything other than what you’re currently doing. So you just keep going down the path you’re on even if it’s not really taking you anywhere close to your goals.
Sometimes you just need to say yes. I know this isn’t a carte blanche thing. If the budget isn’t there to do something, then you can’t do it, but have you thought about other potential options?
This is really a brainstorming exercise, but it will help you think beyond the status quo.
- Write out a list of any and all ideas you have ever wanted to try with your business. You’re only limited to your own imagination here, but a great example would be a list of marketing ideas. At this stage, NO IDEA IS A BAD IDEA.
- Create a set of criteria to evaluate and prioritize your ideas. If we’re sticking to the marketing list, your criteria could be budget needs (high, medium, low), timing (short term/long term), time commitment (high, low), etc.
- Prioritize your items on your list based on your criteria with things that are within reach at the top and those that aren’t at the bottom.
- From that prioritized list, start cutting from the bottom and pick the top one or two things to implement based on what will work for your business.
If you find that everything is out of reach because of budget, don’t include that as a criteria and then see if you can alter your top items to fit your budget! (A little secret? EVERYTHING can be scaled up or down based on budget.)
Bring in a fresh set of eyes
An honest perspective shift is sometimes all it takes to get it done. We get so caught up in the day-to-day it can be hard to identify when we need to make changes. And if it’s not in the budget, you don’t need to hire someone full time to get that shift in perspective. Here are a few ways you can recharge your outlook without hiring full time:
- Join a startup or industry community. Having regular conversations with likeminded business owners can be just the thing you need to get those creative juices flowing!
- Go through an accelerator program. A series of workshops and sessions with the same group of business owners not only allows you to expand your network, but you will gain valuable knowledge and insight into how to change things up. Canadian Small Business Women has a great accelerator program!
- Hire a business coach. Hear me out. I am not talking about a life coach, but someone who will guide you in all aspects of what you do in your business and figure out where you can do better.
- Hire a consultant. You don’t need to hire someone full time to have them be effective within your business! Sometimes you just need a nudge in areas that are not your strong point. It can also be helpful to offload certain tasks that are time consuming to someone else so you can focus your efforts elsewhere.
Learn something new every day
This can be tricky if you’re a busy entrepreneur. We don’t always have time to sign up for those webinars or even watch the replays later on (everyone needs a break, right!?!?!). Learning something new can be as simple as following your favourite expert on social media and checking out their post for the day (insert shameless plug to SongBird’s Instagram… 😊) You do what you have time for. If that means reading an article about some new technology being used in your industry, then do it. If you can squeeze in that amazing webinar, do it. You can even meet for coffee or lunch with an industry peer and learn something new from the conversation.
This mindset will help you feel like you’re keeping things fresh and it feels like you’re accomplishing something daily.
Take a break
No one can work 24/7. I should know. I have tried. And failed miserably. You need to give your brain and your body time to relax. Be kind to yourself because it’s hard to run a business if your tank is running on empty. Even superheroes need to take a break from saving the world every-so-often.
This is your challenge to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone as a business owner so you can get one step closer to reaching your goals!
Candace Huntly is the Founder at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in media relations, influencer marketing, organic community engagement, content, and adapting strategies for any sized business – large or small. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.