Most small business articles will tell you to take steps forward. The writers will encourage you to:
- make progress
- crack on
- push ahead
But today I want you to take a step in a different direction.
The one simple step I want you to take today is a step back.
Working In Your Business vs. Working On Your Business
It’s an easy trap to fall into.
You can be so busy running your business, dealing with customers, making products and supplying services that you don’t take regular time to step back.
Stepping back and looking at your business will help you:
- Spot areas for improvement
- Highlight areas for celebration
It’s Too Easy To Put Off
“Next week I’m going to spend a day looking at my business”.
The day becomes the week after, then next month, then after the holidays, in the New Year and so on.
Before you know it months have gone past and you’ve not taken a step back and looked at how your business is going.
It Only Takes Five Minutes
Take just five minutes a day to complete this small exercise that will help you continually improve your business.
Find five minutes whenever you can during the day, sit quietly and ask yourself the following three questions.
Question #1: Am I going in the right direction?
Your business is a journey. It’s taking you somewhere. Somewhere that you’ve decided you want to be.
It could be to a better life for your family, you may want to work less, live in a different house, drive a different car, and go on different holidays.
It might be none of these things; it could be that you started your journey to share knowledge or experiences to help improve other people’s lives.
Either way, are you going in the right direction?
During your daily step back ask yourself if you are still heading in the right direction, are you on course to get where you want to get at the end of your journey?
If your answer is yes, fantastic!
If it’s no, don’t panic, just recognise that you need to get yourself back on course. Pin point what is leading you off course and write down the steps you need to take to correct it.
Correcting your course might need several steps but today you just need to recognise it and make the first one, then review each day in your step back and keep taking one step at a time until you are happy you’re going in the right direction.
Question #2: Am I focusing on the right priorities?
Never before have there been so many distractions for small business owners.
If you’re not careful you can very easily spend time on things that seem very productive but are they helping you on your business journey?
Are they helping you to get where you want to be?
In your step back ask yourself this question and think about the things you are spending time on, are you prioritising the right things?
Yes? Great go on to the last question.
No? Put some time aside to write as short a list as possible of the real priorities in your business. Use this list each day when you ask yourself this same question and check that you’re prioritising the right things.
Question #3: Am I seeing results?
Results are the check points along your journey.
Seeing results confirms the other questions and helps ensure that you are completing the important steps towards your goals.
Results also give you confidence that you are going at the right speed.
Results come in many shapes and sizes. They include completing a client project, gaining a new client or even getting people signing up to your email list and sharing your blog posts.
Are you seeing results from the hard work you are putting into your business journey?
If Yes, great, make sure you celebrate them and continue taking a step back each day to stay on course to your goals.
If no, look at the priorities you are working on and check they are really the right ones to help you on your journey. If you need help then leave a comment below.
Remember that even if you answer all of these questions positively today, you need to keep taking a step back to ensure you remain on course.
Take A Step Back Today
Can you find five minutes today to step back and answer these questions?
Please don’t put it off.
To help I created a PDF of the three questions that you can print off, stick on your wall and use as a daily reminder, click the button to download it:
Try it today and then please come back and leave a comment below so I can hear how you’ve got on.