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How to know what to focus on

How to know what to focus on

As a small business owner it can be really tricky to know what to focus on. There are so many different aspects of life and business that demand your attention and it can sometimes feel impossible to know where to focus your attention first.

It’s something that gets easier with practise and time, but it’s also something that needs constant readjustment and reprioritising. What works one week or day, might not work the next because life is fluid!

Here’s my top 10 tips to help you figure out what to focus on:

1. Define clear business objectives:

Always begin by establishing specific, measurable goals that align with your overall vision and mission. This will provide a roadmap for determining where to focus your efforts. There’s no point focusing on a task that is actually superfluous!

2. Conduct market research:

Understand your target audience, competitors, and industry trends to identify areas of opportunity and potential challenges. For example, if there’s a current trend for watermelons and on your list is a job involving creating a product with a watermelon pattern, push that up!

3. Assess strengths and weaknesses:

Evaluate your business’s areas of strength and weakness and focus on leveraging strengths while addressing weaknesses. This is great for snapping up low-hanging fruit. If your business has a lacklustre website which is the biggest weakness, if you spend an hour working on it, that’ll strengthen it.

4. Prioritise tasks based on impact:

Determine which activities will have the most significant impact on achieving your goals, focus on the highest impact tasks that align the most with those. For example, if your biggest goal is to increase sales by 10%, focusing on reaching customers should be higher than tidying your office, as satisfying as that clean office might be!

5. Consider resource allocation:

Assess available resources, including time, money, and energy, to prioritise your focus effectively. If you’ve got a really busy week personally, it’s probably not the right time to push a launch. Equally, if the business coffers are looking a little empty, a rebrand could probably be pushed a little further down the road. Resource management and allocation is your friend here.

6. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs):

By keeping an eye on your KPIs and conversion metrics, you’ll be able to identify areas where your business is struggling and make changes to improve them. For example, if your conversion rate is low, you might need to improve the design of your website or the copy on your product pages. Check out the essential metrics and analytics your business should be tracking in this blog.

7. Adapt to changing circumstances:

Stay agile and responsive to things in your life and business that require you to reprioritise. Don’t be afraid to shift regularly, stagnation will do you no good. Business and life are fluid and require dynamic shifts to keep things balanced.

8. Delegate tasks appropriately:

Delegate tasks to someone with the appropriate skills and expertise, allowing you to focus on the things that bring you joy and come naturally to you. There is no point in struggling to do something that just saps your energy and takes you hours when you can delegate it to someone who can do it in minutes. If delegating scares you, check out this guide to delegating for small businesses.

9. Continuously evaluate and iterate:

Regularly review your business priorities and performance to ensure alignment with your goals. Be willing to course-correct and make adjustments as necessary to stay on track. By evaluating you can figure out what’s working and what isn’t. For example, if you’ve spent hours working on writing content for your blog but only 5 people have seen it, change direction, reprioritise and focus on something more tenable and tangible.

10. Maintain a long-term perspective:

While addressing immediate needs is important, always consider the long-term implications of your actions. It can be really useful to have a long-term focus that you work on whenever you can. I personally like to devote time to the short-term needs the most, but I try to find time for the bigger longer-term projects to just chip away at them little by little.

Remember none of this is set in stone, play with different prioritising methods and see how you get on. Everything can be changed, different methods are definitely worth exploring, just remember to track your efforts so you can assess, evaluate and pivot.

I’d love to know how you get on!

Ana x

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