Time and cost pressures are all too real at the start-up stage for business. If we aren’t careful the necessity to limit any spending and to only spend time in ways which immediately produce income for your business can become a habit.
We talked to a number of our clients about the things which they think are hard to do, but important if you want to grow your business.
Many businesses start with just one person doing everything, some businesses never have more than one employee. If you are the only person in the business it’s vital to recognise your own weaknesses and the risk that you may post to your organisation.
Simply put, if your idea of book-keeping is a carrier bag full of crumpled receipts, then at some point it may make sense for you to outsource your booking keeping. Whatever elements of your business you outsource ask yourself these questions:
- Am I the best person to do this?
- Can someone else do this quicker or better than me?
- Can I apply my skills to something which brings in more income with the time I’ll save than the cost of outsourcing?
2. Focus on innovation
At the start of your business journey everything can feel like innovation, but as time moves on you need to make conscious decisions to prioritise innovation. That may be time to read relevant books, 20 minutes a day to watch and reflect on a TED talk (or similar) or regular action learning with your peers. A great idea or concept for your business is a fantastic start, but on-going innovation requires carving out some time in that packed out diary.
3. Conferences and expos
Whether you attend as an exhibitor or just go as an audience member, conferences and expos are a great place for targeted networking, competitor and sector research and hearing about new ideas and trends. It can be expensive to attend, so choose wisely and make the most of each one by planning your day and being consistent in your follow up.
4. Keep good data
Large organisations tend to be near-religious in their observance of data collection and analysis, small businesses tend to be more haphazard. If you intend to grow your organisation the sooner you start keeping good records the sooner you’ll have useful data to inform your next move.
What do you think? What have you found hardest to find time and space for as your organisation has grown?