It’s that time of year when businesses start to prepare for the summer season ahead. Small businesses typically see an increase in sales and the ‘busy season’ truly lives up to its name – but how can we stay on top of it all?
As a small business owner, you know that the benefits of running your own business outweigh working for someone else, however, sometimes you can hit a seasonal lull period when things seem to stall. A long winter season can really bring down some businesses and affect things like cash flow, but to prepare and stay on top of the busier periods, you need to prioritise. Let us take you over our top tips for a productive busy season in the lead-up to Christmas, to give you more time for the things that matter.
Develop a Plan
This is probably the most important step. Create a detailed plan that shows exactly what you need to do in order to achieve your goals. Without a plan to help you implement these goals, there is not much indication on how well you are tracking and developing your business – and you can’t evaluate what is and isn’t working for you. Creating a plan is usually the hardest part, so start with what you want to achieve in the following days, then move onto the following weeks, months and years.
To step up your game, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recommends categorising your to-do list into actionables that can be completed at the same time. Take a 2 minute timeout and pair off actions on your list that can be ticked off your list at the same time.
Stop what you’re doing, take a step back and take a breath. In order to prioritise, you need to figure out what are the most important items on your plan, in order of both urgency and impact. Prioritise from the top down, and don’t move forward until you get somewhere with it. This may mean you have to prioritise cash flow over marketing, or logistics over sales. Either way, list what is most important to achieve at the top, and work down from there.
Some say multitasking is the evil twin of procrastination. Although your intentions are pure, they may not get you anywhere. Multitasking can divide your attention and allow for fallbacks in the quality of work. For a truly productive day, avoid taking on multiple tasks at once as it creates inefficiencies through working in a stop-start manner.
Distractions can often get in the way too, so avoid other technology and lock yourself in a room if you have to! Eliminating interruptions can keep you present and allow you to maximise efficiency of your work on the task at hand.
Take a break
Taking a break sounds very counterproductive, but sometimes, you just need to take a step back to get a fresh point of view. Complex tasks like writing or strategising can take a significant amount of mental effort, allowing you to only focus on the task for a limited amount of time whilst remaining effective. As small business owners are often caught up in both of these activities, it is important that you remain agile, moving from one project to another to relax and rest the brain.
However, breaks don’t have to be dead time. They can be cooking your next meal, reading a book or going for a drive. Your brain is like a muscle, and all muscles need to relax at some point to grow and recover.
Here’s to productivity and a busy summer season!
Contact Spotcap to find out how finance can help you achieve your business goals quicker and easier than ever.
Until next time,
The Spotcap Team
Originally published September 18 2017 , updated September 18 2017