Meditate– The worst thing you can do for your business is start each day in a race. I am strong believer in thinking about your day before you jump into it. I start each day in prayer before I leave my bed. I find that I am able to keep a positive disposition throughout my day regardless of what happens as a result. Years ago, Oprah Winfrey featured a book on her show called Simple Abundance; A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. In it, she provides daily lessons about the concept of peace, joy and gratitude. This is a great book that I have used over 10 years to stay centered. If you start your day thinking about what you are grateful for it’s much easier to keep perspective when things go wrong. Running a small business involves 10 or more jobs at one time. Do yourself a favor, slow down and mediate on something before each day starts.
Know your cash flow situation— Cash is King! You have to know what your cash flow is, every single day, or you could lose your business. You should run your business based on a 30-day cash flow projection. You need to know how much money is coming in and what money needs to go out daily. You also need to stay on top of what invoices need to go out, and what the payment procedure is for each of your clients. Start collections procedures the first day after your money is past due. Never hesitate to call your client or the bank to get clarity about your cash flow situation. No matter what accounting software you use or what bookkeeper you hire, as the owner of the business you must know your cash flow situation every day.
Set aside 1 hour a day for business development— Work on getting in front of someone who may buy your product or service every day. Sales is the life’s blood of your business. Each day you must conduct business development activities in order to stay ahead of the competition. You can make calls, write emails, send thank you notes, Connect with new connections on LinkedIn, search for conferences and trade shows to attend, develop signature content, use social media to build relationships as lead generating activities. You need to make it a priority each day to spend at least one hour generating new business.
Follow-up with 3 three existing connections— People do business with people they like, know and trust, but you must nurture those relationships. Reach out to existing customers you haven’t spoken too in a while. Give three recommendations on LinkedIn. Send a lengthy personal note on Facebook. Make three calls or send follow-up notes with an article your read in the New York Times or Washington Post over the weekend. You will spend a longer time on these contacts, but they are further down your sales funnel, so they are worth it.
Get your plan together for the next day– One of my other favorite books is the 7 Minute Difference by Allyson Lewis. In this book, she says you need to do 5 things before 11am each day and anything else is a bonus. I love this and I do this every day. I make my list of the five things at the end of each day so I have a game plan for my day each morning. This, by the way, is also how I sleep well at night.
Do you have any suggestions for the daily priorities of a small business owner?