Small Business Owners: Achieve Big-Picture Success With These Tips
By: Vlad Moldavskiy
Gallup, the global performance management consulting company, reports that about half of all new businesses fail in the first five years. They also discovered that the success of a new business has a lot to do with its founders. There’s no one reason why businesses fail, but Forbes also analyzes that one of the top five reasons is due to leadership breakdown at the top.
This research can mean added pressure to already stressed business owners. But the good news is you can increase your odds of success by figuring out the big picture and strategically working toward those goals, instead of leaving it all to chance. Here are a few tips:
Designate Brainstorming Time
You probably don’t need much motivation to set aside time for client meetings, closing a sale, or researching a new lead. But small business owners are often guilty of not setting aside concentrated time to focus on their long term goals. Mark time on your calendar to devote to brainstorming. Use the Pomodoro technique and set a timer to exclusively focus on your task at hand. If you find you need more input to be inspired, ask a mentor, colleague, or business partner to join your standing brainstorming time and come up with long-term big picture goals and business solutions together.
Hire People Smarter than You
It can be difficult to put blood, sweat, and tears into your business only to delegate and relinquish control. But small business owners should skip working on tasks that don’t speak to their true talents. Hire someone to do your bookkeeping, marketing, and sales—and instead, work on product development if that’s what you do best.
Make sure to constantly connect with potential hires by attending networking events, reviewing resumes, and holding informational meetings to find the people who can help your business thrive instead of just survive.
Never Stop Learning
There’s little hope of being a stand-out company in your industry without continuously learning new techniques and strategies, and adapting new tools. If you don't, your competitors will be up on the latest technology and industry trends while you’re still holding onto the strategies you learned years ago that no longer work.
Tapping into local conferences, attending public seminars on national and corporate topics, and enrolling in business classes to keep up relevant certifications are all great ways to keep your skills fresh. You could also meet potential business partners and talented hires who are vested in their business and long term goals. Keep in mind, the more you expand your mind to new possibilities, the greater the chance of recognizing and seizing new opportunities that could throttle your business toward success.
Develop a Sense of Identity
Setting long term goals is a necessary step to know where your business is headed and how you will lead your team to success. But developing a strong sense of identity about yourself, your role, and your company can dramatically improve your big business picture. Write down what you really want to accomplish in business and exactly how your company adds value to society. Identify what type of small business owner and leader you want to be and how that image will impact your business. Having a better sense of your business and identity can help you adapt to change and find creative solutions to your big picture goals.