Owning a business can be hard. If you want to be in for the long haul, looking after yourself is paramount. Allow me to explain. Michael Gerber’s eMyth states that a successful business owner needs to master three key roles: The Technician, the Manager and the Entrepreneur.
Running a small or home-based business could mean you wear all three hats. Now most of us started in business as Technicians because we have a specific skill (e.g. accounting, plumbing etc.). However, to make the business last, we need the other two as well. The Entrepreneur is on cloud nine dreaming up new ideas and directions whereas the Manager evaluates them for feasibility and implements what works in the business.
As you walk through the year you experience wins and losses. Given we’re about to close the lids on our laptops one final time before the year end festivities start, it’s time to take stock, adjust and refocus. Set aside some quality time and using your favorite beverage for the time of day and run through this checklist. Make sure you write down your points.
• What went well and why. across the dimensions marketing and sales, fulfilment/delivery, operations, team and systems – rate these from 1-10 with 10 being outstanding; capture the why as well
• What didn’t go so well and why. We don’t let failures define us but use them to lean and grow. Understanding why allows for adjustments to be made
• Performance against business plan. How do you stack up? Look for the real why (the 5 whys method is a great tool for this); e.g. lack of sales often times has its root cause in an ill-defined target market, what did you do differently if you had a bumper year etc. No business plan? Why not?
• Celebrate achievements. You have worked hard all year and it’s time to celebrate. Take your team members out and thank them for their contribution. Ask them what the achievements mean for them. Solopreneur? Take your family out and thank them for their tireless support
• Take time off. It’s tempting to attend yet another “business priority”. Guess what. Without family, chances are you wouldn’t be able to do what you’re doing so give them the attention they deserve
• Review/set yourself written targets spanning the business; financial targets are a start but take a more holistic approach; examples: hours worked, marketing/lead generation activity, staff count
• Identify help Some targets may require help. Don’t walk it alone. Asking for help is a strength; start with your council
• Process improvement Ask yourself which process(es) add(s) the least value to your business but consumes a good amount of time (think admin as an example); commit to improve one a quarter and document what’s been done
• Get motivated Vision yourself achieving the above targets and what it will mean for you and your family
• Work on your business Earmark time every week (same day – non-negotiable) to plan and work on your business; focus on activities that move the needle towards improving the above targets
• Get an accountability partner Sharing your goals does two things: It provides a level of accountability and aligns everyone towards the same goals. Alone in business? Your partner can play that role and support
Running through this process will give you the best chance for a great 2022. Give yourself a pat on the back for making it through a challenging year.
Interested in one-on-one support in 2022, don't forget to apply for a free business mentor via Casey's Mentor Matching program.
This article was written by Casey-based Business Mentor Thomas Meier of The Local Business Network.