With the new year upon us, many business owners spend a great deal of time reflecting on the past year and planning for the future. As a business coach, this is one of my favorite times of the year, as I get to sit down with clients and celebrate their victories and plan out the upcoming quarter. So, today I wanted to share with you four things that I think we should all try to incorporate into our daily routine as business owners.
But First ...The Victories
Before we get into the things that we can improve upon, I want you to stop for a moment and write down all the things that you did well this past year. Did you increase your revenue? Do a few key hires? Develop strategic depth? Land a few (or several) new clients? Whatever it is, big or small, it's important to take time and celebrate those victories. As a business owner, we are so quick to judge ourselves and point out things we are doing wrong, that we more often than not skip over the victories.
Now that you have taken the chance to look at what you did right last year, let's go over a few things that you can do better in the coming year to keep the victorious momentum going.
1. Set Up A Focus Day.
If you want to increase your growth potential without working more hours, this is the number one piece of advice I have to share with business owners. Set aside three or four hours each week to turn off your phone, shut down your email program and focus on the tasks that will produce the greatest value for your business. That way, even if you get nothing else accomplished the rest of the week, you will have given three or four hours of your best attention. And that one small change will help propel you forward.
2. Stop Having Meetings "Just Because."
This next tip is one that will have a ripple effect throughout your entire company. Many business owners are stuck in the cycle of holding pointless meetings in order to feel like they have control or accountability within their business. But in reality, the meetings are just interrupting you and your employees best work and focus time. So in 2020, make it a goal to only hold meetings that are absolutely necessary. If it can be covered in a memo or an email, go that route whenever possible. This will save you and your employees hundreds of hours each year to spend on higher level tasks.
3. Learn To Delegate.
Another thing to work on in the coming year, is your delegation skills. Every business owner should take a good hard look at where they are spending their time, and look for places and tasks that can be delegated to another team member. This will help upgrade your time allowing you to spend more focus time on the things that matter. Ideally you want to be able to have more than one focus day each week as you increase the number of tasks delegated to other team members.
4. Learn to Say "No."
The last piece of advice I have for you in the upcoming year has to do with your ability to say "No." If it isn't a high value task, don't be afraid to say no. If it doesn't help grow your business or provide value, say no. If it is going to distract you from your business mission, say No.