September 27, 2015

Rachel Strella

Small Business Growth Is Overcoming Excuses

small business tipsI’ve never been a visionary.  I know, I know. I’m a business owner – how could I not be a visionary? But, I admit it. As a social media manager, I have a myriad of endless details to manage so at least my skills are in line with my trade! But, as we experience growth at #Strella Social Media, we’re tackling more consulting work, which is shifting my focus to the bigger picture.

I’m learning that to truly grow a business, I can’t stay stuck in the day-to-day.  In fact, in the past few weeks, I’ve prioritized ways to maximize our growth potential.

Tackle the stuff that sucks. If you’re like me, you have tasks on your list that keep getting pushed to the next day, and the next day… and then to next week and even next month.  I kept putting off things like learning streaming video options and offerings, de-mystifying Facebook’s power editor and re-structuring how we bill for our services.  It was a now-or-never approach and I felt that all were important to our growth potential, so I started tackling one-by-one.  If you can relate to this, either decide to take it off the list or just get ‘er done. Otherwise, it hangs over your head until you ‘find the time’ to do it.

Delegate. Literally can’t ‘find the time?’ Perhaps it’s because there are too many tasks on your plate that could be given to someone else. This is a struggle for many business owners. Many of us believe that no one can do a job as well as we can. Or, we simply do not know where to start.  Like anything, getting started is the hardest part. List everything that you do in a day and decide what could possibly be given to someone else, with the proper training. And be honest with yourself. Is it something you like to do or is something you have to do?

Spend time ON your business not just IN your business. I never went to B-school, but if I did, I would bet this would be the first rule of business.  And it’s so necessary.  Despite the fact that I talk with my team every day, I found that we were constantly in reaction mode – putting out fires – rather than proactively planning for growth. We were spinning our wheels.  I finally started making time each week for a staff meeting. We identify our challenges, brainstorm solutions, and determine ways we can do things better.

Do not forget to manage your finances. Making sure you are spending the right amount and tracking your profits are key to make your business grow. Have an accountant who will help you out with these things if necessary.

Health is wealth – really! Imbalance seems like a rite of passage for many in business, but it doesn’t have to be. Just like scheduling meetings and endless to-do’s, also take time for exercise, proper nutrition, and sleep.  Reality dictates that this isn’t always possible, but it’s very likely if you can do it if you make it a priority. My lightbulb moment came from realizing that I was constantly putting the business ahead of my health. But the irony was that I wasn’t properly serving the business with poor health. Take the time to be your best self.  You’ll be better in business if you do.

Never stop learning and growing.  A cardinal sin in business (and a death sentence for a social media professional)? Complacency.  I had to stop making excuses for my busyness trap.  Read industry news, seek feedback from customers, and experiment with fresh ideas, tactics and offerings. There will always be someone who is better than you… or someone who can quickly become better than you.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.

While it’s true that I’ve never been a visionary, I was smart enough to seek the advice of mentors. I’ll never forget this advice from one mentor: get comfortable being uncomfortable.  Enough said!

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