Small business success is comprised of many ingredients. Focus is one of the necessary ingredients to not only build a strong business foundation, but to propel you forward to create the business and life you desire.
I have many stories as a business owner and as a personal business coach that confirm the fact that focus is essential to success. In fact, without it you will wander around. You may bump into success from time to time. But, you won’t hold onto success unless you have focus.
What is focus? It is the concentration of attention or energy on something. How come it is difficult to achieve when you are self-employed?
Especially when you are starting out achieving it can be very difficult. Here you are, the small business entrepreneur, and you have to spread your focus to do the marketing, accounting and sales to produce your product or service.
Yet, the successful small business owner manages to keep his or her focus on what is important. The key to small business success is to have a laser like vision on what is important.
Think about this. If you are focusing on what is critical, then you haven’t taken care of what was important.
How do you go about staying focused? Each day you must have priorities. Those priorities will change depending on the day. The goal every day is to have one or two priorities. These priorities are what you must accomplish during the day.
It is not possible to focus on your priorities with too many things going on at once. In fact, we are not set up as human beings to be effective if we are constantly switching between too many tasks. Yet, the very nature of self-employment encourages us to be scattered and try to pay attention to too many things.
When we try to focus on too many things there is a switching cost. Let’s say your priority for the day is to work on your marketing business plan.
To be able to work on it you must be able to have at least an hour where you can be focused. You start out working on your marketing business plan. It is seven in the morning and your business does not open until 9.
After you are into for a while, the phone rings. You don’t have to answer the phone but you do. It’s a customer who has a problem. Now your entire focus has switched to solving his problem. The phone call only takes five minutes.
You hang up and want to go back to creating your marketing business plan. But, you are still thinking about a solution to the customer’s problem.
Mentally and emotionally you are focused on what happened in that call. The mode of extreme concentration you were in to create the marketing business plan is gone.
Next, you check some email hoping that you will get back into focus to work on the marketing business plan. In reading your email you come across one that needs an answer.
It doesn’t need an immediate answer. But, since you want to do something productive and you are not ready to get back into working on the plan you answer the email.
Before you know it the clock says nine and it’s time to open for business. For the rest of the day your energy is slightly down because you didn’t complete what you set out to do with the marketing business plan.
Very often you get to the end of the day and don’t feel like you have accomplished much. The reason is that you didn’t take care of a priority.
When you focus and take care of a priority it brings more energy and confidence to everything you do. There is a positive, cumulative effect in your business and your life.
The secret to small business success is break down priorities and focus on accomplishing a small part every day. If your energy and time are directed to do something to improve your business by one percent a day, you will build and maintain the momentum to move you and your business forward to the success you desire.
What are your thoughts on focus and success? I would love for you to share what works for you.