I have run a small business for almost 10 years. And yes I have the grey hair to prove it. I am the CEO, the marketing dept, sales, social media, and the secretary. I am also in the process of getting certifications for my business. I take all the phone calls and schedule all the appointments. Yes, I wear many hats.
I get very little office time. I work on client sites. In between jobs, I scramble to return phone calls, schedule appointments, and run personal errands. Somehow at the end of the day, I get things done. It amazes me. With a little planning, you can have a full productive day.
You also have to be prepared for the speedbumps as I call then. The things that throw you off schedule. Like the potential new client that wants to have a conference call now! There goes an hour, but a new client is on board.
So how do you run a small business and keep your sanity? One day at a time my friend. Here are some tips to help you plow through the daily tasks of business ownership.
1. What gets you business? Answering phone calls from clients, potential clients, and business partners keeps me in the green. That is my first priority everyday. I even check the email before I go to bed to do one last email update. Clients are amazed that answer my emails at such an odd time. The better response time you have, the more business will flow your way.
2. Marketing- You should have a marketing plan. Identify what types of marketing are beneficial for your business. For my business traditional advertising doesn't work. I have learned to think outside of the box.
3. Invoicing- This is very important. If you don't bill your clients in a timely manner, you won't get paid. Make sure that your clients understand your billing timelines.
4. Accounting- Don't let the tax man come and get you. Its essential to keep up your accounting system. One of the biggest problems that I hear from clients is that they lose receipts or forget to enter them. Have a container in your car or work bag to collect these receipts. I enter my receipts everyday and file them.
Based on the amount of billable hours I have each day, I plan what I need to accomplish. I have also learned to have more of a balance by turning off the computer each night at 6 pm.
Remember to run your business, don't let it run you!!