Entrepreneurs must focus on opportunities to move their businesses forward and strategies to take their companies to the next level. But it can be easy to get distracted by all the noise or wallow in negative projections. Think of it this way: Your table is full of junk food that will make you and your business sick! Push all those empty calories off your plate, and you'll be able to concentrate on the meat and potatoes.
Here are five ways to start.
Find a virtual assistant.
You can hire a virtual assistant from onlinejobs.ph for approximately $100 per month. A virtual assistant can help tidy up your schedule, organize your life and take care of routine tasks. It's a great way to delegate the busy-but-not-productive jobs while you handle the strategizing and purpose-driven musts that only you can do. While you’re at it, consider hiring a social-media specialist or content manager who's adept at spotting trends and can help position your business.
Don't count your own beans.
Unless you're a trained accountant, trying to keep track of the beans is both time-consuming and potentially treacherous. It's more efficient to outsource work that drags you away from what you do best.
Hire a professional bookkeeper who can maximize your business-related deductions and keep you out of hot water with the Internal Revenue Service. Ask for referrals from friends, family members and colleagues. Or check out Bench.co, where a bookkeeping hire will run you around $150 per month. An accounting specialist needs to be your bedrock, so make sure you find just the right one for you. Then forget about watching every penny and get back to those entrepreneurial activities that make your company what it is.
Realize that thinking makes it so.
Of course it’s a cliché. But it's also been studied and proven to be quite true. You are what you think you are. You achieve what you think you can achieve. A quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln states it this way: “Many people are about as happy as they like to think they are.” Only in your case, change the word "happy" to "successful."
Your mindset is the most valuable business tool you have. If you feel defeated walking in the door of your office, why bother to come in at all? Your attitude will rub off on others who depend on you for decisions and inspiration. If you think you'll lose, you already have. Remember that no successful entrepreneur ever achieved greatness without plenty of embarrassments and at least one stinging failure.
Embrace social media.
Don’t grudgingly acknowledge it, like a distant cousin who is asking for money -- dive headfirst into this turbulent and fascinating facet of modern communication. Obey the cardinal rule: Don't spread your brand too thin on social media. Hire the people and use the right strategies to post and track everything from Facebook to Pinterest to Weibo. Nuvi is one of many tools to help you get a toehold.
Done properly, social media has the potential to show greater returns than paid ads in print publications, radio and television. Best of all, the medium itself is free.
Related: 5 Social Hacks That Can Boost Sales
Take this dare.
Wait until your new business seems to be teetering on the brink of disaster, and then take a week’s vacation. Somewhere far away, where you can’t be reached very easily.
Let your business -- your life’s blood, your brainchild -- sink or swim on its own, with the people you’ve already put in charge of the tasks they're equipped to handle. Designate one of them as head honcho in your absence, and then walk out the door.
When you return, you’ll find either an abandoned office with tumbleweeds blowing through it or a thriving company whose staff now possesses 10 times the confidence and enthusiasm they did when you left. This exercise will teach you two extremely important lessons:
- You’ve built a solid foundation for your new business already, so things are going to be just fine.
- You're not as almighty important as you thought you were. The world doesn’t stop just because you go swimming on a beach in Cambodia for a week.
The takeaway is simple: The key to success is to start with a great idea and a solid business plan, hire the right people to help you and let them do their thing.