If you know me well at all, you know how much I love small businesses. I believe in the power of small businesses to transform communities. But too many of us small business owners get bogged down in the day-to-day operations of working IN the business and not ON the business. When we do this long enough, it’s hard to keep up with industry best practices, shifts in our communities, and marketing trends. How can you keep up when everything around you seems to be moving at warp-speed? These three steps can help:
- Look for easy opportunities to learn. Podcasts are a busy business person’s best friend. Some of my favorites are Entreleadership, Building a StoryBrand, and Business Boutique. Look for podcasts focused on your industry or dealing with issues you are facing. Listen to them while you’re driving, exercising, or doing household tasks. It’s a great way to grow and learn.
- Join a networking group. I recently took the plunge and joined BNI (Business Networking International). I’m also active in my local Chamber of Commerce. I joined these groups partly to grow my business, but mostly to be around other growth-minded people who can challenge and encourage me. Spend at least a few hours each month connecting with other business owners. They can offer insight and camaraderie that can help you persevere.
- Find people to help you. News flash: you can’t do it all. As your business grows, you need to find people you can trust with other tasks. The first thing to go for me was accounting. I hate accounting, so that job now belongs to my friend Susie. I also farm out most design work my clients need. Last year, I found someone to help with writing and managing one of my client’s social media accounts. That’s been the hardest to let go of, but I found a gem of a contractor who does excellent work. So now I’m set up for growth instead of just survival.
Are you looking for ways to help your business stay relevant? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can either come alongside you or connect you with resources to guide you along the way. Whatever you do… don’t get left behind.