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5 tips for running a profitable business without running yourself into the ground

18 August 2016 / By RightWay Ltd

Running a small business sounds like a dream - you’re the boss and thanks to your entrepreneurial grit and innate smarts, lifelong success is surely yours. 

Unfortunately the ride to riches is far from sunshine and roses.

A huge 50% of small businesses in New Zealand launched in 2010 closed their doors in 2014. Owners everywhere are stressed to the max. Studies echo a distinct ‘hamster wheel effect’ that has many small business owners struggling with the need to be available 24/7, among many other issues.

 
How can you cope? Here are five ways to help you get a handle on things by mastering time management, automation, prioritising and collaboration.


1. Delegate like your life depends on it (and it probably does!)
 

In business it’s surprisingly easy for your attention-to-detail to become a flat-out obsession. Sure, your business is your baby, but it's also a source of income and professional development for your employees. Let them make mistakes — it's often the best way to learn. Focus less on the mistakes and more on what unique skills and abilities your staff offers. It's a rare business that thrives without the contributions of many. 
 
If you’re a solo-preneur, it’s even more important to reach out for help. Can you outsource certain tasks?

As with everything, prioritising involves factoring not just the actual cost, but the opportunity cost of doing that task yourself. What else could you be doing with that time that's better for your bottom line?

 

2. If a machine can do it – let it
 

Manually entering paper invoices or receipts? Sweating over paperwork and manual tasks? You don’t have to. Take a step back and inventory which of your day-to-day tasks can be automated vs. delegated, and march confidently into the future. Again, focus on high-value tasks where no one -- especially not a machine -- can take your place.

 

3. Get support

There are low-cost resources, such as Business Mentors New Zealand that can provide critical mentoring. Reach out to people eager to help and who have been there and done that. Often the very best mentors offer emotional as well as strategic support. Demand more value from your professional advisor like your accountant. If you feel he/she is not giving you value beyond compliance, go somewhere else.

 

4. Keep thinking big picture

It's easy to develop "impostor syndrome" when things get tough -- that nagging and often untrue sense that it's only a matter of time before someone reveals you’re not worthy of all you've achieved -- so it's always good to focus on the concrete steps that got you where you are today. You can't envision a strong future if you are always mired in self-doubt. One entrepreneur whose insights are featured in Entrepreneur magazine, Steve Tobak, suggests resetting your balance with three deceptively simple questions: "Are my goals true? Am I capable? What's the worst that can happen?" And, above all, breathe.

 

5. Be kind
 
This is great advice for anyone, but especially anyone trying to run a small business. Be kind to yourself and others. Failures will happen. Just remember that some of the very best business success stories sprung from the ashes of something that went wrong, including Walt Disney, once deemed "unimaginative", and Thomas Edison who was an abject failure at selling a new vote tallying system. Not bad company to be in. This theme of kindness must also extend to your family. It's easy for a small business venture to quickly overtake leisure time, but keep some things sacred, whether that's a family dinner or something similarly meaningful. 
 
Remember, striking out on your own is hard enough so focus on building a strong foundation, even if there are unexpected -- and stressful -- twists and turns along the way. Many have gone before you and many will come since. Embrace that community and your family and chances are that dream will come true. 

5 tips for running a profitable business without running yourself into the ground

Running a small business sounds like a dream - you’re the boss and thanks to your entrepreneurial grit and innate smarts, lifelong success is surely yours. 

5-tips-for-running-a-profitable-business
Running a small business sounds like a dream - you’re the boss and thanks to your entrepreneurial grit and innate smarts, lifelong success is surely yours.

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