You have a business. You know you need to make money, and you’re looking to make sure you have the bases covered. Here I’ll explain exactly what makes a business successful. It might surprise you how simple the answer really is!
No Process is one of the most common reasons why business fails.
Really? Yes. So many entrepreneurs are stuck in analysis paralysis (not making ANY decision or taking action) because they simply don’t decide what their next step is, or what their process is for whatever task or project they’re working on! It’s so sad. It really breaks my heart. Because processes are not hard! You can do them. Anyone can create them. Don’t be afraid of them. They are simple. If you think you’re stuck, go download this cheatsheet below and it will make your process easy to identify and document. It’s not just a free download with fake successful business tips. This worksheet is guaranteed to help you nail this.
If you’re stuck here in the fear of not getting it right, let that go! For real. The honest truth here is that the only wrong action is NO ACTION AT ALL. If you’re taking any small actions, you’re making progress, and you don’t have to stay stuck. You can always change direction if you decide the actions aren’t taking you the correct way, or they’re not getting the results you need. No matter what, you are NOT stuck when you’re taking actions.
If you’re in the category of ‘what am I doing,’ let that go too! Again. A google search will tell you some ideas for almost anything you want to do. Someone else’s process and task list is probably not exactly what you want to do, but it will definitely get you started in a direction. Remember, ANY direction is better than NO direction. Do not stay idle. That’s a quick way to fail.
If you find yourself stuck, and not finishing what you started, dig into that. Let’s discover why you allowed yourself to get stuck. Is it analysis paralysis? Is it not knowing what action to take? Is it really a capacity issue? Maybe you simply have no idea what project to work on. There’s a solution for that. Don’t let yourself stay stuck.
Project Tracking is key.
If you’re finding yourself stuck, if you’re finding yourself overwhelmed, or if you’re finding you have no idea what things to actually do daily, you probably should start with project tracking. What? What is that you say?
Literally, it’s keeping a list of all of the projects you have in process. The best way to do that? ANY way. You can go as low-tech as using a paper and pencil, or you can use spreadsheets in Excel or Google Sheets, a Word or Google document, or you could use an application like Asana or Trello. It’s not truly going to matter at first. Later, you’re going to want this project list to be electronically accessible, but just start where you are! However you will be able to go back and look at the list you create, so you know WHAT you’re working on.
But why is this so important? You NEED to know what you’re working on, what your team is working on, where your resources are, where your money is flowing, and when you’re targeting each launch.
Project timelines are more important than most entrepreneurs give them credit for, because you really want to make sure you’re only launching one project or program at a time. If you’re trying to cram multiple deadlines on top of each other, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. You’re going to feel overwhelmed, your team will be drowning, and no one will be happy with you.
The simple act of tracking your projects in a list with their implementation or launch dates will give you a huge mental break, and bring peace to your team. You’ll actually produce better quality products too, because your efforts will be focused on one thing at a time.
Another benefit to having a system to track your projects and resources is that you know who’s doing what. If you’re not paying attention to who is assigned what, and you’re just paying invoices for people, you are likely tossing money down the drain. Keeping up on what projects people are working on will save you time and money because you’ll know exactly where your team is working and how long each project is expected to take.
And you’ll also be aware of what your capacity is. Do you really know if you’re utilizing your team effectively? Project tracking and capacity planning are key factors to business success.
Know how many ‘things’ you can do.
Capacity over-estimation will drown you. Don’t get mired in the muck. Tracking your projects will give you a way to gauge your own capacity, as well as each of your team members’ capacity. To have a happy and healthy team, you really need to know and be familiar with each person’s capacity so you’re not over or under-utilizing your resources. Both can lead to lower morale. Keeping your team intact leads to better performance over time.
If you’ve ever overestimated your own capacity to get things done, you know that familiar feeling of letting people down by missing deadlines. Ugh, the guilt over that is awful. You either short change the clients, or you short change yourself because you stay up all night working on something to get it done instead of sleeping, which can drain your energy stores for days. Holding on to the guilt for poor performance only adds to the stress and low-energy. Don’t put yourself through that.
You can avoid this guilt entirely by using the process sheet (scroll up for the free PDF download)and tracking your projects, because these tools allow you to know exactly what needs to be done, and how many things you’re trying to do.
Tracking everything you’re working on and knowing your team’s and your own capacity sets you up for accepting new opportunities when they appear! You won’t have to hesitate when you go to estimate a completion date, because you know when your current projects will be completed, and you know where your resources are.
Knowing your capacity also saves you from missing investment opportunities, because you’ll know where your cash is being consumed, and for what.
And who doesn’t like to know exactly where they are spending time and money?
These three things are what make a business successful:
Creating and Documenting Processes
A Project Tracking System
Knowing Your Capacity
If you’re struggling with any of these three aspects of project management, we need to talk. You can easily apply for my intensive program, and have your whole business and all of your processes packaged up for you in one beautiful book of business. Get yours today and set yourself up for opportunities to flow.
Make sure you check out all of the other successful business tips in the other blog articles.