How to Make Progress on Your Business When You're Not on Deadline
I've finally gotten the foundation of work done to launch my business: I’ve rebranded the site, rounded up new content writers—fondly called The Gals—set style guidelines, found a designated developer who’s handy for the ramp-up, and finalized all legal and accounting for the e-commerce shop to open smoothly (knock on wood).
But, because I’ve been so used to putting the pedal to the metal, packing my days full of calls and projects to launch the site, and generally working from morning to the wee hours of the following morning, once the biggest grunt work was out of the way, I felt like I was losing steam.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s just made it to a major milestone, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re not sure what to do next. It’s like the 15-pound weights you’ve been lifting are switched with fives. You miss the work a little bit.
To avoid feeling like you’ve hit a plateau in your to-do list, here are three things to do every day to ensure you’re progressing just as much now as you were before.
Have One Main Dish on the Menu
Even when you’re not prepping for a big launch, there are always more things to be done to grow your business. This might mean pitching more designers or brands to put in your store, writing an ebook to further promote your services, or creating a YouTube webisode series to add a more visual touch to your company.
I’ve found that focusing on one of these tasks each day makes sure I'm constantly seeing big results. Assign yourself one meaty project per day, and do that first thing in the morning, before other smaller, less-important things distract you from taking care of business. (Today, that was creating a glossary for my site to educate new visitors on the terms that may apply to them as ProfessionGals.)
Remember, Network Has “Work” in it for a Reason
Cultivating relationships for your business should be made a recurring priority, especially if your goal is to expand your business. Make a list of influencers in your industry you want to begin partnering with, and start tweeting them or reaching out to them—in ways that are meaningful, of course. Add attending networking events to your to-do list, and set a goal for how many people you’ll connect with at each. Or, discover new customers by visiting and discussing topics in relevant LinkedIn groups.
For me, I make it a point to reach out to one major new contact per day. This helps to ensure I constantly have one new potential partner, sponsor, or brand to add to my store shelves.
Admin Work Can’t Sit on the Backburner Forever
Admin and company housekeeping can easily keep being swept under the rug until next weekend. But, the truth is that while you work on other, seemingly more important things instead of keeping up with your tax tracker, business receipts, and site maintenance, something major can go wrong, making the task you made a priority look like small potatoes compared to someone else buying your domain because you forgot to renew your license. Not worth it, right?
It’s hard to resist the temptation of bigger, shinier tasks, but as an entrepreneur you have to force yourself to get the bread and butter things done daily. Doing this will keep your business afloat, which is a necessary foundation to making it grow. It’s not easy, but I’ve found that putting them at the top of my to-do list on one designated day per week ensures that I get them done. Even better, it ensures I get them done quickly because I’ll want to zip through in order to get to the things I like to do.
Doing these three things on a daily basis will make you feel fulfilled enough every Friday to rest easy on the weekend (instead of having to play catch up, leaving you without a break to rejuvenate!). It’s worked well for me thus far.
How about you? Tell us about your progress below! Next time, we’ll talk about the actual launch of my new site and the brand-spanking new store. Wish me luck!
Photo of woman working courtesy of Shutterstock.
About The Author
Megan Broussard is the creator of the career-lifestyle site ProfessionGal, based in NYC. It’s your treat for the workweek if you’re a young female professional or entrepreneur with a craving to get ahead and have a sweet spot for office style. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, and Google+.