2021 is coming to an end… To help you transition from this year to the next, we are going to explore a step by step process to organize yourself as a small business.
You have probably already read tons of articles related to this topic. This is why we are making it a little different this time. We are not going to talk about specific organization tips (you can find plenty all over the internet). Instead, this article will be about ways to organize your ideas and how to implement them as a small business owner.
These tips are derived from my own experience of working with small business owners. I hope they can be useful. Enjoy!
The role of a small business owner
Obviously, as any business owner, the small business owner is a manager. They are the chief officer in charge of managing the sales, the marketing, the tech, the client support, etc. Contrary to larger businesses, small business owners are involved in each and every part of the process. They have a say in all of them and must keep a clear view.
Overall, the small business owner is a conductor. They make sure all actors work well with each other in order to articulate the company’s vision.
Although the business owner has a clear vision for the company, it can sometimes be difficult for them to express it clearly and lead their employees in the desired direction.
Organizing yourself as a small business
Generally speaking, the vision the small business owner will have for the company will be straightforward. However, several ideas will arise along the way and require adjustments. It can become challenging to get a hold of each new upcoming idea. Especially when these ideas come from different actors and collaborators.
All too often, business owners get lost in a flood of ideas, suggestions and feedback. The easiest way to keep track of each of them is to write them down or record them. Apps such as Notion, Evernote or Google Keeps are pretty handy to help one organize themselves.
Furthermore, these brainstormings and progressions can also be shared with the teams.
The best way to implement an idea is to focus on one at a time. However, often small business owners find themselves having to implement multiple at once. Indeed, all departments must work together strategically.
Once the ideas have been marked down on the tools mentioned above, they must be prioritized. Once a week, during the weekly meeting with all the collaborators, this ranking can be shared to everybody in order to have all the actors on the same page.
Prioritizing and sharing ideas is the first step. The second step is to make sure the right collaborators are informed. Instructions must be given to a – the person in charge and b – the person who has the right means to realize the task.
Sometimes, news tools will be required. The small business owner cannot be aware of all the existing tools to realize a specific task. This is why they must figure out the right experts to surround themselves with.
Communication itself deserves tens of articles just to describe it and apply the right techniques. The main advice I can give a small business owner when communicating is to be as clear as possible. The vision they have is often very precise, but all too often it is a challenge for them to share it precisely with their teams.
Unless they have worked together for a long time, it can be complicated for the team members and collaborators to encompass the chief’s exact idea. Therefore I recommend an excess of clarity. One can grasp a vision or an idea through precise adjectives. However, it is even more useful to provide concrete examples of the expected results.
If you are the business owner, make sure to provide your team with as much information as you possibly can. If you are working for a small business owner, make sure to ask specific questions regarding the task you are asked to achieve.
Organizing yourself as a small business can be challenging especially when the owner must organize, implement and communicate their ideas to their collaborators. Using the right tools and taking the right steps as suggested in this article is a first move towards success.