How do you set priorities as an entrepreneur or business owner? Did you ever look up at the clock at the beginning of the day and think to yourself that you have all day to finish a project only to find by the end of the day that the day is gone and you have not even started on it?
This is a problem that many of us face is entrepreneurs. It’s not that we are lazy disorganized or lacking the intelligence that takes to organize our day, but something gets in the way when we were trying to focus on our priorities.
For some of us, perhaps the problem is we do not know what are priorities are or should be. We have so many things that we have to remember and think of as business owners, but often the message can get lost in the clutter. Clutter is not always a bad thing but when it gets in the way of setting goals and priorities for a business, we know that we should clean house a bit to see what is really important.
Refer to your business plan
One thing that you can do with a business owner to make sure that you stay on track is to refer to your business plan. If you do not have a business plan, you need to get one now. One of the most important things that will guide you in your journey of Entrepreneurship is your business plan. If it is either too big or too specific, you may find yourself drowning in the specifics and not knowing what your overall goal is. Likewise, if you make it to broad, you won’t know what specific tasks are required to get to your goal or how you will know you have made it.
Some of the most important things in setting priorities are listed below.
1. Goal setting
Goal setting should always reflect back to your business plan. If you wrote it in your business plan, it must be important unless you have changed your mind since you constructed your original plan. If this is the case, make sure to update your business plan with both general and specific goals so that you will know what you need to do and set a timeline for each task.
Goal setting should always direct what you do with your daily to-do list as well as your calendar and other goal setting tools so that you will always be on task to make the goals that mean the most to you.
This is the essence of planning and setting priorities. What do you prioritize on your daily to-do list? It is often been said by many successful entrepreneurs that if you do not plan your day, your day will plan you. Keep this in mind when you are putting things on your calendar and make sure that you put important things that will lead to increases productivity and revenue and lead you closer to your goals.
2. Time management
The next part of setting priorities has to do with time management. Once you have a calendar and a general to-do list that hopefully is based on your business plan and your company goes and vision for yourself, look at the specifics on how you actually use your day.
How much time do you spend planning your time? If you can use just a few minutes each morning or the night before planning how you will use your time the next day, it may save you thousands of dollars over the course of your career as well as saving you lots of time as well.
What we’re really talking about it’s just taking some time to organize and prioritize. If you do not do this then your day will be decided for you by other people’s agendas rather than your own. Guard your time and fill it with the most important things that you need to move forward
3. Time or money?
This big question is still something that must be considered when you are trying to run a business today. Are you going to spend time or money? Are you going to spend the time to learn skills to learn software to do things on your own are you going to pay for someone who is an expert to do it for you?
Every business owner must decide for themselves if they have the skills needed to do a task that is needed to help their business or if it will take too much time to learn this skill.
One example is creating infographics or videos. Most business owners do not have a background in these types of creative arts, though some do. Even those who are skilled at artistic and creative activities such as designing graphics or logos, for example, the business owner still has to decide whether he is willing to spend the time needed to create these assets. Creating the professional graphics that they are trying to achieve can take time. Would it be better to outsource this with someone else?
4. Dealing with clients
Every business owner must learn how to deal with clients and you must take the time to do this on a daily basis. Whether or not your business succeeds or fails is dependent primarily on whether you keep most of your customers happy. It is also determined by what they say about your business if they leave.
While you cannot please everyone, you need to keep as many customers happy as possible so if they will say good things about you to others who might also become customers. Make sure and spend time allowing for the issue of dealing with clients as this is the heart of any business.
5. Financial goals
Everything you do should also surround your financial goals for your company. If you want to be into six figures in the next 6 months, you must have a plan and manage your time around this to achieve it. While you may not reach your goal every time, setting goals which are slightly higher than the ones before it’s important so that you will keep striving to raise the bar within your company.
Determining Your Values
Determining your values is ultimately the most deciding factor in how to set your priorities. This depends on your own personal and professional values. You should do some deep self-evaluation and analysis of your own psyche and why you got into this business, to begin with.
Only with careful examination of your goals and values will you be able to determine what your values really are. If making the most money possible is your primary value than everything should be focused on increasing your revenue and all times. If it is simply for the joy of work at what you do, then it should all be surrounding the idea of creating and producing the best quality products that you can use to change the world.
In essence, “if there be any virtue if there be any praise, think on these things.” This is a quote from the Bible, it is very true today as it was when it was written. You will do what you plan and what you value as your top priorities. So think about what yours are and plan accordingly.