Are You Wearing Too Many Hats?

Too Many Hats

How many hats do you wear?

Ok, I know you are not actually wearing all of these hats but they do represent the number of skills that you need to successfully take your business to the next level. You need to be an expert in everything!

At some point you will discover that you simply can’t continue to do it all yourself. Something has to give! Outsourcing one or two (or even all) of your hats will free up your time and energy for an abundance of other things including actually doing some revenue building work – now wouldn’t that be nice?

The first hat I took off in my business was my graphic design and website building hat. What a relief that was!  I slowly continued to remove other hats until I was only left with work that I wanted to do – that is what being a #Thousandaire is all about after all!

I would love to know what hats you have taken off and how you got on without them?

You’re never too small for good KPI’s

Measure Success

When you start a business, you tend to make decisions by following your nose.

You take the advice of the last person you spoke to, you follow courses of action that seem like the most interesting, and you most likely live from hand to mouth.

While you’re finding your business feet, that’s fine. However, sooner or later you have to move into a way of running your business that is actually a bit more – well – businesslike.

I’ve discovered that it’s almost impossible to run a serious, profitable business without Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and, if you’ve been in business for more than a year or two and you don’t have these, the chances are you’re artificially keeping yourself and your business in the ‘start-up’ phase.

KPI provides a snapshot of what your business will look like, in terms of hard figures, when you achieve your current vision. Once this vision is boiled down into specific, reachable goals and next steps, they are fed into your KPI dashboard, where you can track them and monitor what’s going on.

You need a mixture of both ‘lag’ and ‘lead’ indicators – that is, the results you’ve already achieved, and the figures that represent your forecasts or predictions. In other words, you know where you’re going, and you know how much progress you’ve made towards that destination.

For example, KPIs for your profit margin, cash flow, and maybe measurements like customer satisfaction rates, or staff performance. The performance indicators you choose to measure should be those that indicate the results you’re looking for – that is, they are ‘key’.

They can be represented by graphs, spreadsheets, or pie charts. If they’re going to be made public in some way, you can use percentages rather than pounds and pence, to preserve confidentiality.

If running a KPI dashboard sounds like something only huge, corporate businesses might do, don’t be fooled. Whatever the size of your business, you need to have your finger on its pulse. Your KPIs could cover one side of a sheet of A4 paper – they’re still an invaluable part of your business success.

Or to put it another way, when you’re running a business, you need to define where you’re going, plan how you’re going to get there, track your progress and report back to yourself on how it’s going.

If you’ve got anything to add on KPIs, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your comment below.

Don’t let hiccups knock you down

Resilience

I know from experience how wonderful business highs can be, but how dreadful business lows can make me feel.  Over the years I have learnt one critical thing however – the highs and the lows will come; they are both inevitable; that’s life!  Business, like life, will sometimes throw you a curve ball.  What I now try and remember when my curve balls come is that it is not the curve ball that creates the problem, it is how I react to the curve ball that creates the problem.

Like life, dealing with the happy times when everything is going well, is easy.  We don’t even need to try, do we?  But, having the self-awareness, strategies and strength to deal with the bad times can me much harder.  It is the same in business.  It is easy to deal with the good stuff, getting new clients, doubling your turnover, running a successful marketing campaign etc.  But it is how we deal with the bad stuff that makes or breaks both us as business owners and our business itself.  We need to be resilient.  We need what I call ‘bouncebackability’.

I am currently writing about what I have learned about resilience over the years that I have been in business.  I would love to know what you think creates resilience in you? How do you cope with your business lows?  What resilience strategies do you use?

Is perfectionism hobbling your business growth?

perfectionparalysis

When is good good enough for you? What holds up your projects? Do you hang onto pieces of work because they’re ‘not quite there yet’?

I heard a piece of advice recently, which was useful, if a little bit hard to swallow for a perfectionist like me: it’s ok to be ‘good enough’.

Moving your business forward requires agility, courage and the ability to launch your projects and ventures when the time is right – not when everything has been perfected.

The truth, painful as it is for perfectionists, is that you can’t be perfect. You can’t. Impossible. Sorry. In fact, if you’re doing something for the first time, which means you’re taking a leap into the unknown, your best efforts might not be that great at all. How could they be, when you don’t have any experience of what a success might even look like?

True innovation means you give your projects your best shot, and accept that until you release them into the wild (because that’s how it feels sometimes!) and see how they fare, you’re in the dark. And if the results are less than perfect, you don’t waste time beating yourself up. Just accept that you are where you’re at, you’re doing your best and you’re learning all the time – which means you’re now in a position to keep improving.

When you’re running a micro business you can’t be an expert in everything, and you probably can’t afford to hire experts to do everything either, so you’re on a learning curve.

So get on with that learning, and let go of the idea that you have to be great at everything the first time round. You can’t afford to hold up your business progress by holding off on progress until you think your projects are ‘perfect’.

I would love to hear your thoughts on how to overcome perfectionism…..

Making a good first impression

making a good first impression

I am enjoying a great day today writing about building your reputation as a micro business owner, and I am focusing on what impression you leave people with when you meet them.

We are always taught that first impressions count.  But does it always matter what someone’s first impression is of you?  Should you care as long as you are being true to yourself?  Is it easy to make it right afterwards if you don’t make a good impression?

In my opinion, the impression you leave people with will stay with them.  So make sure it’s a great one!  That doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your own personal values and beliefs.  It just means you have to respect the personal values and beliefs of others.

I would really value your thoughts on this so feel free to get in touch whatever your opinion.