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Are You Focusing on the Urgent, or the Important? Productivity Tips for Small Business Owners

small business
  |   2 minute read


Small business owners and entrepreneurs wear many hats. The differing responsibilities can feel overwhelming when your company is in its infancy, and you may feel torn between today’s needs and tomorrow’s vision.

We’ve rounded up the best advice on how to set goals, prioritize tasks and address urgent matters while still staying on target with your long-term goals.

Let’s dive in.

Keep It Simple

"Simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones." - Occam's razor

While assessing priorities and big picture items, keep this question in mind: is it simple? Complicating task management methods will make them harder to implement.

To start you off, keep simple methods like to-do lists or minimal spreadsheets as your focus. As your business grows you can implement more complex systems, data and tools. But the easier you make it on yourself in the beginning will increase your chances of making these methods part of your daily routine.

Get Disruptive

Plotting out a business model is important, but you also must be willing to change with the tides of the market. A disruptive business model allows for you to create new business markets by changing or improving upon an established business model.

As Fundera illustrates:

“As Netflix started becoming successful, Blockbuster tried to copy its model, but it was too late. Blockbuster had stayed its “tried-and-true” course for too long, and that was ultimately its downfall.”

Take advantage of being small: It’s disrupt or be disrupted, and younger, more agile businesses are uniquely equipped to be the former.

Zero in on Growth

Have a clear and measurable growth goal (yes, ideally one). Having that big picture goal will inform your day-to-day tactics and allow you to funnel your priorities back to your main objective. For instance, if part of your growth strategy includes networking and customer engagement, anything you do that is not leading back to that strategy should not be a priority.

As Entrepreneur notes, “A better way to think of prioritization is not tasks but themes.”

Talk it Out

It’s hard to believe that a great business tool can be so simple, but according to Forbes, talking is the key to a productive, cohesive team. Giving everyone a chance to be seen and heard boosts team moral and reinforces investment in the company’s vision. That little act will produce an invigorated workforce that is engaged with achieving goals.

Why Better Conversations Help Achieve Business Goals offers these tips:

  1. Start by thinking about what you’re thinking about.
  2. Write down what you want to say.
  3. Give people what they want and need.
  4. Be open and listen.

Review It All

“How you won the past may not be how you win the future.” Your goals can stay the same, but how you achieve them can change. As your company grows, it’s important to review all your tactics and priorities. Shift with the market instead of getting swept away by it.

During this review, take note of any strategies or processes that can be shortened, transformed or eliminated. There are many paths to the finish line; now is the time to pick the most convenient one.


Tags: small business