A question that I get asked about a lot is, “What do you do when you’ve got a small business but your family and friends aren’t supportive of you?”
Sadly, this is quite common, so if you’re in this position don’t feel alone. It doesn’t mean that you need to give up either.
This is something I can relate to very well as a lot of my family and friends weren’t particularly supportive of my business ideas in the early days. (I think they’ve since learned to let me do my own thing over the years).
I share more about my story getting started in business, and why I suspect they weren’t keen on my business plans, in the video below.
Quite often, loved ones aren’t reacting negatively because they doubt your ability to run a successful business. It’s often just that they’re concerned in case your business idea fails.
If this is something you have ever faced, hopefully my suggestions in the above video will help you too.
Please feel welcome to leave a comment below if you’d like to share your story of starting a business without 100% support of those closest to you.
You may have heard of Stephen Covey’s best-seller, 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People. This is a great book and well worth reading for anyone who is keen to become more effective in both their business and personal lives.
But taking that book one step further is Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits For Managers: Managing Yourself, Leading Others, Unleashing Your Potential.
This is specifically for managers and was recommended to me by a friend about 18 months ago. Actually, he recommended it so highly he bought me the audio book. I listened to it at the time but decided to recap and go over it again last weekend.
Being an effective manager is not only good for your business, it’s also a highly regarded quality for integrating your business/work and family time, as well as useful within any community or sporting organisations you’re involved with.
So what are the 7 habits of effective managers?
They are proactive. They demonstrate initiative and resourcefulness to get things done.
They begin with the end in mind. They have a clear vision and that vision drives them on a daily basis.
They put first things first. They execute superbly on the truly important goals and do not allow themselves to be sidetracked.
They think win/win. They know how to help everyone win.
They seek first to understand, then to be understood. They are superb listeners.
They synergize. They solve problems creatively because they seek rich and varied input. They actively look for the new and better way to do things all of the time.
They sharpen the saw. They continuously improve the productive capability of their people by knowing and leveraging their passions, talents and sense of purpose.
Some of these I was fortunate to have been taught in my early 20s by a supervisor at the time. I am very grateful that he was not only brilliant at managing our team, but he was open about why he made the decisions he did and about instilling those skills in each team member too. They have been extremely valuable for helping me run a successful small business for the last 14+ years.
If you’re keen to improve your own management skills then I recommend you read Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits For Managers.
(Click here to buy it from Amazon.com)
When you own a small business you are an extremely busy person; everything about the business is your responsibility, which means your time and attention are constantly in demand. Let’s take a look at seven real world tips and time management techniques to help you gain more control and efficiency in your work efforts.
Technique #1 – Track your use of time:
Carry a small notebook with you and for one full week keep track of how you’re using your time. It takes a few extra moments at a time to capture this information, but at the end of the week you’ll be better able to see where your time is being spent and spot areas where you can make changes to be more efficient and/or effective.
Technique #2 – Establish goals for managing your time:
Once you have an idea of where your time is being spent you can set real, specific goals for making improvement. You might set a goal of reducing the time you spend responding to emails, for instance, or cutting back on the amount of time you spend on personal phone calls.
Technique #3 – Establish a time management system:
Small business owners often find themselves pulled in many different directions at the same time which makes it very easy to get distracted from the really important things you need to do each day. Set up a time management system to minimize these distractions, such as returning voice mail at a particular time each day, empowering your employees to make more decisions, or the like.
Technique #4 – Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise:
It is often said that 80% of your time is spent dealing with 20% of the activities related to your business, and this is absolutely true. Make a point of setting priorities about which activities are most important and/or most profitable, and then be sure those activities receive the majority of your time and attention.
Technique #5 – Delegate and outsource whenever possible:
When you first started your small business you were probably the only employee and had to do everything yourself. As your business has grown, however, it has become more and more difficult to take care of all of that stuff efficiently. You can improve your time management practices by evaluating which tasks and activities could be delegated and/or outsourced and then taking the steps necessary to take those actions.
Technique #6 – Set a routine and stick to it:
The most successful small business owners understand that they use their time most effectively when they set up a daily/weekly/monthly routine and stick to it. This helps to ensure tasks and activities are handled regularly, and when the inevitable crisis erupts you are in a much better position to safely deal with that crisis knowing the other aspects of your business are up to date and under control.
Technique #7 – Allow down time to think and plan:
This is perhaps the best time management technique of all because it allows you to step away from the day to day necessities of running your business and on a regular basis take the time to think and plan for the future. Down time is important for letting your mind rest and refresh itself so that your creativity can come through more easily.