5 Things Every Business Owner Should Do From Home This Week

If you work from home as a small business owner — or have recently made the transition to doing so — you’re no stranger to the importance of goal setting.

All of the promised productivity and efficiencies aren’t a given without effort. You have to approach every new week strategically with a plan.

Those plans may vary with timely initiatives, seasonality and, of course, life getting in the way, but there’s also a benefit to prioritizing routine. Consistency is key to building positive habits (and nixing the bad ones while you’re at it).

Here are five things every business owner should do from home this week—and make a habit out of doing every week.

Make a To-do List

The art of organization isn’t everyone’s natural forte. That doesn’t mean you can’t develop the skill over time.

To-do lists are a natural first step in organizing your thoughts and goals for the week. Knowing that 41% of to-do list items are never completed, however, don’t pat yourself on the back for a list alone.

On Sunday evenings or Monday mornings, set time on your calendar for thinking through what you need to do in the week ahead. Use the list as a preliminary jumping point to then time block your calendar based on priorities and how long you estimate it’ll take to complete each task.

Check-in with Your Cash Flow Forecasts

You may not be an accountant but, as with getting organized, an appreciation for your finances is something you should work to develop.

As it relates to cash flow, set aside time every week to check-in with your forecasts. Are the numbers on track? What bills and invoices are outstanding if any?

Making a habit out of reconciling your bank and credit card statements regularly will better equip you to identify opportunities for reducing cash flow. It’ll also make for less stress when prepping for tax time.

Review Marketing Campaigns and Assets

Good marketing results from thoughtful messaging, timeliness, creativity, and consistency. Like many things in business, it’s not something you should “set and forget”.

Depending on the size of your team, you may have marketing campaigns already planned out a month or two in advance. What may seem timely during the planning stages, however, doesn’t always hold up when it comes time to launch.

This is why you should review scheduled marketing campaigns, social posts, and creative assets on a weekly basis. Does the messaging make sense relative to current events? Are there any opportunities to change course and bring more positive awareness to your brand?

Consider Your Customers

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. You and your team may be the brains keeping the machine running, but there’d be no machine to run without sales.

As the head of your company, create time for yourself every week to brainstorm around your customer base. How can you better serve their needs and pain points?

If nothing else, think of this as a creative exercise to help in keeping the people behind your business top-of-mind. Create meaningful content and communications, send out surveys, develop partnerships with other local businesses, incentivize with discounts—think outside the box to keep customers coming back.

Turn the TV Off

When we’re overwhelmed by the burden of everyday stressors and to-do lists (see above), it’s easy to become debilitated. To cope, we turn to distractions like the TV, our phones, snacking, and anything else that might take our mind off what’s in front of us.

In times like these, there’s no secret sauce to achieving perfect focus. Like any habit, you have to strike a balance between being patient with yourself and tough love. Enlist the help of some good ol’ fashioned willpower, step away from the TV, and do what needs to be done. Your efforts won’t always be perfect but they’ll be just that—effort.

By Staples Canada

April 17, 2020