Running a small business is never easy, and with technology updates coming out the wazoo, it only gets more complicated.
As a small business owner with limited time and employees, staying ahead of the game is your ticket to success.
You may be asking:
i) How can I stay in the loop?
ii) How can I become a successful person and business owner?
iii) How can I remain well-read and up to date on all things tech, while simultaneously keeping my business in check? (Yes, we are poets).
While you scratch your head and sip your coffee, check out these expert tips on how to stay in the loop and succeed.
1. Follow blogs that pertain to your business and let you keep an eye on competitors.
Some may call this 'stalking the competition.' We call it: staying up to date with other businesses, including the stuff they’re talking about and listening to. There’s a lot to learn from fellow industry members who may have been in business longer than you have. Running a business is like being a full time student; there’s always more to learn. If you’re not already a reader, become one. For example, if you own a car insurance company, don’t be afraid to check out sites of other car insurance companies, and follow their blogs. What are they doing right? What can you learn from them? The competition is your friend and I’m sure they have their eyes on you as well.
2. Make a Pocket account.
Part of becoming well-read includes becoming well organized. With so many interesting blogs and articles out there, it’s extremely hard to keep track. It’s too often that we save something for later, but never look back once we click out. Pocket makes it simple to save articles for a less busy time and is easily installed as an extension on Google Chrome. Once you find an article you're interested in, you may add it to your reading list with one simple click, and return to it at your leisure. You can even log in with your email account. Pocket makes storing your articles easy, fast, and convenient.
3. Leave the office and attend a conference.
Remember that networking happens most effectively when it’s off the screen. Attending an industry conference can get you out of the office and into the conversation. It will also give you the chance to network in person with business owners like yourself. This way, instead of a type box or an email, they’ll have a face and a voice to remember you by. Now that’s networking. Attending a conference can also give you the chance to learn about what other businesses are up to. Note where they are lacking and mimic their successful strategies. Don’t forget to get your name out there. Meeting fellow members of your field can only help you and your business grow.
4. Delegation is key, stop overloading yourself.
We get it, you’re a perfectionist. Handing over various tasks to your employees is scary when obviously you could do them better yourself. If you want to succeed, you need to start doing some trust exercises. Pass on the tasks that are taking up your precious time. Start with things like social media and IT Support. Publishing blogs, tweets, and posts is something simple to pass on to someone else.
In 2015, a general study suggested that 48% of companies report tech-performance issues daily. If you're spending that much time dealing with IT technical and management failures, it's time to pass that responsiblity on to someone else. You've got a business to run.
Consider a hiring a managed IT services company to Outsource your IT Services.
Choosing Managed IT Services can be a huge time saver for you and your employees. Hiring a third party IT services provider not only ships these tasks out of house, but wipes them right off of your busy to-do list.
5. Don’t be afraid of failure.
This one’s a toughy because we all are. Receiving a bad review or losing a customer can be heartbreaking. Catastrophizing is easy and all too common. The important thing to remember is that every business has its highs and lows. Failing can even be a good thing as it allows you to regroup and recognize that your previous strategy wasn’t as effective as you may have believed. So cut your losses and don’t be scared to start over.
- Webinars are the lazy person’s business conference
Remember earlier when we discussed attending a business conference? If you’re overwhelmed and can’t take a day to go in person, attending a webinar is an easy way to get live info without leaving the comfort of your home or office. Sites like Scott’s Weblog cover tech conferences in real time so you can read about them as if they were happening right then and there. As technology advances rapidly, it’s only getting easier to stay in the loop.
- Meet your new best friend, Feedly.
Feedly wants to get to know you. Based on your interests, it creates a personalized news feed of articles, just for you. Like Pandora, Feedly optimizes on your preferences and tailors your feed to your needs. This makes searching for interesting and relevant articles easy and practical.
- “Work smarter, not harder”
Read this important article about getting down to what really matters and working smarter not harder. A huge effort doesn’t always equal results and it’s time to draw the line. Identify a task, start and finish it. Then, take a break. Everyone has a different business strategy that works best for them. If you have yet to find yours then we implore you to experiment. If you’re a startup or a newbie it’s important to get your footing early in the game. Don’t be afraid to push yourself, try new things and remember - the world is equal parts your classroom and your playing field.