Sitting on my desk right now is a notepad with the words “To Do” scribbled at the top of the first page. Over the next 10 pages, are things that need to get done. Some have been crossed off, yet others stubbornly remain for weeks because I just can’t get around to doing. In the back of my mind, I know that I need to get to the items, but the daily occurrence of the unexpected keeps me from doing so. Try as I might, it has become a losing battle.
So, I found the need to step back and reassess how I was going about my day. In my case, my small business competes with giant global corporates with thousands of employees. Yes, I am that guy that thinks he can take on a giant, and win. My day is obviously quite full of activity. Given my respectively modest resources, I need to leverage as much as I can. I developed a three-point plan to help me power my small business that I would like to share.
The 3Point’s are key to me not only getting through the day, but in doing so in a way that actually gives me a competitive advantage. Think about it. Do you really want to just grind it out? Or do you want to enjoy what you do and have a better life. The odds are already stacked against you. From 2011 to 2016, this period of time in America has seen the fewest number of small businesses being started. We are a vanishing breed, with even more reason to refine our methods.
Here is my three-point system for powering my small business:
- Physical – This is by far the most important point. Taking care of yourself is important for your business and your family. You need to be rested, nourished, and strong to withstand the constant bombardment of stress being thrown at you all day long. Make sure to have a regular sleep cycle aiming for eight hours of sleep. If you have sleeps issues such as apnea, get it treated and under control. Everything starts from a proper amount of sleep. Next up is regular exercise. Don’t go crazy with it, but regular exercise is proven to release stress and build endurance. Small business is a competition. All day, every day. You are competing. Start training. Finally, you need proper nourishment to fuel you through the day. No more fast-food, empty carbs, or soda. It does nothing for you except add unwanted pounds. Eat three meals a day whenever possible, starting your day with good nutrition. You need to come out of the starting blocks every morning ready to go the distance.
- Finance – Count in everyone when it comes to small business finance. This is where many of us fall short. Having the discipline to stay on top of record-keeping is of utmost importance to your future. You simply cannot properly run your business without having a daily snapshot of your finances. I suggest a very simple solution for this. Get a copy of Quickbooks either installed on your computer, or get a cloud version. Quickbooks is so simple and easy to use and set up takes only a few minutes. The latest versions allow you to export your bank statements into your software. You need to see what your finances are, and the reporting features are perfect for someone like me who Is visually oriented.
- Sales – The fuel for your business. Develop a sales pipeline. There are many tools to use. I personally have tried them all, but remain old-school with a second notepad which I scribble on all the time. Whether you set up an excel spreadsheet or use a crm like one of my favorites – OnePageCrm, you have to have some method of tracking your leads and pushing them through the sales process.
Nothing else on my to-do list matters outside of these three points. So when my ten pages get me stressed out, I always go back to the 3Point system and so far it has not failed me. It keeps me focused on what is really important to running my business and getting things done. Really think about this, when you have so much to do during the day that you cannot function and you go home without having accomplished anything. Isn’t that incredibly frustrating and depressing? Well, with the 3Point system, I always go home knowing that I have accomplished the most important tasks of the day. This feeling of accomplishment builds and builds until you get a lot of momentum going and become unstoppable. Isn’t that what we are all looking for? Give it a try and write back on how it works for you.