Many people want to be a small business owner for the freedom it provides. They have visions of 18 holes of golf and umbrella cocktails on the beach. Certainly, freedom is one of the many benefits of being a small business owner. However, freedom doesn't come instantly or easily to the small business owner. As a small business owner it can seem as if you have no deadlines. If that is the approach you take to running your small business then you may find yourself out of business pretty quickly. Here are a few reasons why it may seem like you as a business owner don't have any deadlines and how you need to stay on track.
Big Picture Jobs Get Delayed
As a small business owner you have one job; to lead the company. You are the visionary and you need to lead your business towards your goals. You may fail or you may succeed in the execution of your vision but you definitely need to emerge as the leader. Executing on a vision and your goals can be difficult because it takes a lot of critical, higher-level thinking. Additionally nobody is going to hand you a deadline for presenting your vision and executing on it.
As a small business owner big picture jobs often get pushed to the back burner for various reasons. I think that the number one reason I hear that owners don't get something done is lack of time. Lack of time is a piss poor excuse for not getting something done in your business. The reason I feel this way is because as small business owners' time may be the only factor where we are all playing on a level playing field. We all have the same amount of time; it is just that some are better than others at managing it. Understanding that time is one of the most valuable assets you have will cause you to cherish and utilize it to the best of your ability.
When you are a small business owner you need to realize that the big picture tasks are your job. The day to day operations are not what you should be doing. You need to identify where you are going, what you need to get there and how you will reach your goals. Big picture items like revising your business plan, setting the forecast, budget and goals for the coming years and developing an exit plan are your jobs as an owner. Are they sexy tasks? I actually happen to think so because they are all high level, deep thinking tasks. Are they easy to accomplish? Absolutely not but if you wanted things to be easy you should not have started your own business.
Focus And Scale
It takes hard work and discipline to get projects done in your business that don't have a formal deadline. Things always come up that make procrastinating on these projects easy. Maybe it is a ski vacation or a family adventure that causes you to push your big picture tasks back. We all have a lot going on in our lives but those owners that clearly understand what their role is in their business and why it is important to execute find the time.
The key is to focus in on what is important and scale your small business. It all starts with a clear definition of your goals. Many small business owners simply just don't know where they are going or where they want to go. It's a scary thing rolling along in your small business without goals. How could you know if you are doing well or not? Just remember that as you scale it is important to pursue your goals, not what everyone else thinks your goals should be.
So, does the job of a small business owner come with no deadlines? Sure I guess you could make a case for that. However, I think that most successful small business owners don't take this approach to running their business. One of the traits that I think most great entrepreneurs have is persistence. Successful business owners always find something to do and they hold themselves accountable to getting things done in a timely manner.