Small Business Priority | 4Get 2020 Time to Move On
2020 is finally over. There will be plenty of blogs, podcasts, articles and videos reviewing 2020 and predicting 2021. Not here... not today.
As small business owners, we need to focus on what IS... NOW and figure out what needs to be done at this moment in time to move our business forward.
Your time is a limited resource. How do you know what to work on? I'm going to throw out a quick way to think about what matters to you now and some tips to keep it at the top of mind.
Let’s get… focused!
You’ll find highlights below. Watch the livestream recording or listen to the podcast version on your favorite podcatcher for all the details!
Listen to or Download the Audio Podcast
What's here for You?
There is so much to think about and do as a small business owner and only a limited amount of us to go around. How do you know what to focus on? What's the most important thing you should be doing with your time?
In this episode, I offer an idea you can use to create a scale that will help you get perspective on what matters most.
What is Your Small Business Priority?
The definition of your small business priority could be subjective. I guess all business strategies can become a subjective topic. So is there a way to have some structure around that decision-making process?
I think so.
Why Prioritize Now?
By modern standards, 2020 was a difficult year. I resist the terms 'unparalleled' and 'unprecedented' but difficult nonetheless.
As small business owners, we don't have the luxury of lamenting what has been. We have to move forward with what is. To do that and put our energy into a direction that is the most effective for the businesses we have to know what our small business priority is!
The Revenue Crystal Ball or Forecast... or Something Like That
There is no crystal ball of course and let's face it forecasts are, at best, educated guesses. Sometimes, though that's all we have.
The way I like to prioritize action is based on the revenue I can reliably expect in a given timeframe.
How far into the future can you predict regular revenue and what is the economic environment for your business?
Here are some basic 'economic categories to get you started.
- Build Cash Reserves
Let's put some boundaries around this by saying that a certain level of revenue or level of disruption can help us identify where we are.
- Survival - 0-6 months of visible revenue
- Pivot - 3-12 months of visible revenue with significant market disruption
- Build Cash Reserves - 3-9 months of visible revenue
- Recovery - 6-12 months of visible revenue
- Growth - 12-18 months of visible revenue
The time frame and level of disruption required for you to make a pivot are subjective. You may look at this and think (as I did for one of my businesses) 'I've been in survival mode for a decade!'
That might be true and it might be worth considering options to get out of that operating situation because, quite frankly, it's exhausting.
The point is to understand where you are (by your standards) so you can identify the one focus you need to keep your energy on.
Focus Until Done
While it is important to put focused attention on the right thing in your business. It's equally important to know when that thing... is actually no longer the thing.
If you find yourself in a survival phase and decide that generating sales is the most important thing that's great. When do you know that your sales engine is working well enough for you to begin focusing your attention on rebuilding your cash reserves or, better yet, growth?!
Find the endpoint for your current focus because ultimately our focus should be on growth and owner exit.
Getting down to practical action we need to do
Understand the forecast visibility of your revenue.
How does that forecast relate to what needs to be done now?
Remind yourself of your primary focus... every day... multiple times a day.
What condition would let you know that you're done and ready to move to another primary focus?
Don't just take my word for it...
Here are some other options that could help you prioritize.