Staying focused on your plans can be tough. Fresh distractions and the constant noise from 'experts' and well-intentioned sources can land you in a loop of procrastination. While it is important to keep on top of research and information about your industry you need to develop the habit of focused planning.
Where to start?
The obvious starting point is to establish your goals and set out a timeline on a piece of paper, or if you have one a white/blackboard. By setting out what needs to be done you can start to visualise priorities and identify conflicts. You can't do everything at once. So you will have to trade off options. The below info graph is meant as a general guide.
As the info-graph lays out, you need to invest the time to decide:
- What do you need to do for your business? Be brutal, you need to consider if the activity will bring added value to your business. If you have been advised to spend time on Instagram, but your customers do not use this form of social media- Why do it?
- Find the quick wins, are some of your to-do list items, just a case of getting on with it? Once you complete quick tasks, it helps your confidence.
- With the bigger projects, can you break down into bite-size chunks for yourself?
- Play around with your to-do list. Some items may require planning around other people, so be prepared to move things around.
- It is OK to end an activity when you realise there is no customer demand, or there is a more profitable option for your business. It will free up your time for something else.
- You can't do everything yourself. Therefore find skill sets that build on yours and that complement your business. Who can you delegate to?
- Use your online calendars to set deadlines and reminders.
There is an element of getting on with it when planning. You will not want to miss a sales opportunity or forget to plan lead times from manufacturers to meet customer demands. Winging it will only get you so far.
If you are feeling it hard to know where to start, or need a positive push in the right direction I offer this service. This can be done in person or via Skype. Prices start from £80 plus VAT per hour depending on the size of your business.
As a startup loans mentor I have heard it all. There is no judgement and think of it as a safe space to vent and get yourself back on track.