It’s a universal truth among small business owners: There are only twenty-four hours in the day – but a million and one things to do.
Business chaos is commonplace among entrepreneurs, but there are ways to overcome it if you recognize its causes and think creatively about its solutions.
Having spent several chaotic years getting Infusionsoft off the ground, I’ve learned five major causes of business chaos and how to overcome each one for continued growth.
Chaos Cause No. 1: You’re Wearing All the Hats
I see entrepreneurs dig themselves into this hole most often, and it’s not hard to understand why. When you start your business, there is often no one else to depend on other than yourself. So, you take charge of everything to ensure the work gets done.
However, if you keep this approach as you start to grow, you’ll never be able to dig out. Take a step back to understand what you’re best at and get some help with everything else.
For example, maybe accounting isn’t your strong suit and it eats up more and more of your time each month. If that’s the case, you’ll actually be saving yourself money if you get help that may seem pricey up front. The time you’ll save focusing on what you do best will be worth it.
Chaos Cause No. 2: You Don’t Know How to Grow Your Business
While entrepreneurship has been increasingly glamorized in recent years, don’t ever forget that it’s a day-in, day-out fight for customers that will pay the bills.
Learning how to grow your business means truly putting (paying) customers first. The way to do this is to set specific priorities on how you spend your time. If you aren’t serving your paying customers to the best of your ability, you better be working hard to find new ones.
Chaos Cause No. 3: You’re Growing the Wrong Way
Closing new sales and adding new customers is great, but don’t forget that with growth comes increased fulfillment needs, more transactions to track and more complications from every angle.
To make sure you are growing the right way, get systems in place that help you manage the growth. This can be something as simple as tracking repeat orders or knowing how many more sales will support another employee. The key is addressing these challenges as they come up and not letting the chaos of the unknown snowball.
Chaos Cause No. 4: You’re Drowning in Technology
The same technology that helped many people become entrepreneurs in the first place can also be counterproductive when not leveraged correctly. Data overload can result in too many potential ideas, and that can take your focus off your core challenges and how to overcome them.
To avoid being drowned in technology, keep your customers top of mind. There are countless software solutions for seemingly every business function, but if they’re not helping you better serve your existing customers or attract new ones, that technology probably isn’t worth it.
Chaos Cause No. 5: You Have No Central Focus
I often hear small business owners say, “I’ll just take it a day at a time.” That philosophy can work in many aspects of life, but if you’re trying to launch a business and you don’t have a bigger vision in mind, you’re in for unending business chaos.
To get a central focus, it’s critical to set aside time to reflect and strategize. First, formalize your business goals and vision and get them down on paper. Then, don’t forget to track your progress. Finally, keep working toward your vision – even when times are tough.
If you’re able to commit to a central focus and concentrate on overcoming the other common creators of business chaos above, you’ll soon find it melting away.