3 Tips to Creating a More Efficient Business
I am now well into my second year as a small business owner, and one of my biggest struggles, is maintaining efficiency. Often I get distracted or discouraged, which always takes a huge toll on my business. An efficient business is a profitable one, and it is something I work on every day. Now I know there are a million tools, tips, tricks, classes, podcasts and more that you can invest in, to create a more efficient business. But I'm going to tell you the top three tips that have helped me develop a more efficient Saddle Shoppe.
- Community over Competition
- Using a Planner
- Incorporating Self-Care into your business routine
Let's saddle up!
Community over Competition
I truly believe I would not be where I am today, if it weren't for the incredible businesses and women who have agreed to work with me, over the last two years. You've probably heard the saying "It's not what you know, but who you know", and I couldn't agree more. Now, who you know, doesn't have to be famous influencers, or big-wigs from big companies; it only takes one friend to have a support system, and the more you know, the more you are supported.
So maybe you think I have tons of friends, or have lots of friends because "I'm popular" (if you do think that, thank you, ha! I've never been cool in my life). But the truth is, when I first started my business, I reached out to as many small companies as I could find, about carrying items they designed or created, in my shop. The theroery behind this was that the more people I worked with, the more friends I would have in my corner. And they truly did become my friends. Customers and followers drive the business, without question, but it is the other women in business I've met along the way, that drive me.
So what does community have to do with efficiency? Whenever I have questions about a new product, I reach out to one of my fellow businesses. Whenever I am having a hard time creating new content, I reach out to one of my fellow businesses. When times are slow, and my mental health is taking the fourth beating of the day, I reach out to one my fellow businesses. Being efficient doesn't always mean getting the job done the fastest. To me, being efficient means that you are doing the job properly, in a timely manner, with a positive result.
Using a Planner
A planner can be your best friend. To become more efficient in your business, you should be organized, plain and simple. A good way to stay organized is to create to-do lists for each day. Additionally, spreading out your tasks for each day is important--it makes the day manageable. If you're anything like me, you get overwhelmed easy, and when I am overwhelmed I can't focus on any task in order to complete it. This makes me extremely inefficient. I utilize a planner to help me from getting overwhelmed and here's how:
1. I create goals for myself at the beginning of each month--this is my "why".
2. I start every Monday creating a todo list, and then break the tasks up by days. This allows me to sort them by importance, and create steps to accomplish each day.
3. If I don't finish one task one day, I will roll it over as a priority on the next day.
4. At the end of the week (or any time during the week that I think of a task), I will start filling in my following week's list. Because I am very forgetful, this is the only way I can remember those tasks from week to week.
5. Use the monthly spread to mark important dates.
To be efficient you must first be organized, and a planner is just one way to do that!
Incorporating Self-Care into your Business Routine
The number one person you need to serve and take care of in your business, is yourself. I am so guilty of allowing my mental and physical health to take a back seat on a busy day or stressful week, but I can tell you, that is when I am least efficient. If my mind and body are sore, tired, sick or unwell, I will not get half of what I need to, accomplished in a day.
I seen a quote by Anne Lamott that said "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you". So here are a couple easy ways to "unplug" during a busy or stressful work day, that will hopefully, in turn, help you be more efficient:
1. Set a timer for every 3 hours, and when your timer goes off, take a 15 minute break. Get water, a snack or take a short walk.
2. Journaling is a very powerful tool. Set aside 20 minutes in the morning or evening to journal about life, business, etc. The beauty of journaling is that it can be whatever is on your heart and mind.
3. Exercise--I am horrible at this one, but I do try. And on the mornings when I go for a walk, or do yoga before work, I am way more efficient in my daily tasks.
Whatever you do, take care of yourself-if you don't no one else will.
I appreciate you coming back for a second week. Writing these blogs isn't easy, but it is a challenge I am enjoying for myself. If you enjoyed or got a valuable point from this week's blog, please comment below with what you learned, or enjoyed. I would love to hear from you, get to know you more, and provide content that you want to read about in the future weeks!