Entrepreneurship attracts creative people with big ideas. However, many people who thrive in creating the big picture struggle with executing the little details that make it up. This can lead to an extremely frustrating process in which your great idea for a business never really manages to get its legs and take off.
AfricanAmericanGrants.org is proud to help business owners get the tools they need to make their business reach its full potential. That’s why we’ve created this guide for helping you manage those day-to-day details that push your business toward its big-picture goals.
Keep Things Simple
When you have a sweeping vision for what you want your business to be and become, you can easily wind up making things extremely complicated. If you have complicated long-term goals, break them down into simple, achievable steps. Think critically about which steps need to be done first in order to “unlock” steps down the line, and make a note of anything that can be done quickly or without too much work. This way you can prioritize the high-value and low-energy tasks that will take you where you need to go.
You should also focus on using tools that keep your work as simple as possible. For example, when you look into getting a payroll system, focus on one that integrates several useful features into a single program. Also, a timesheet calculator from Quickbooks can help you track employee hours, and you can automate things like breaks and overtime payments. This easy time card calculator can help you save time and mental energy while running your business.
Consider Your Financial Foundation
One of the details that tend to bite big-picture thinkers, in the long run, is funding. If you’re not focused on your financial situation at every step along the way with your business, you can easily wind up in a bad cash flow situation. If you’re spending more than you’re making, you’re going to run through your initial funding fast.
Coming up with sustainable funding plans won’t just put you in a better financial position, it will also make you more attractive to programs that give grants to business owners. Grant money doesn’t have to be paid back, so it can take your business further than a loan. However, for this same reason, organizations that give grants tend to be choosier about who gets them. Working with a financial planner to come up with good cash flow techniques can help you strengthen grant applications and get the funding you need to thrive.
Use Regular Check-Ins
Finally, the best way to stay on track with the small details is to use a system of regular check-ins. Come up with tasks to do or metrics to measure monthly, weekly, and daily to make sure your business is focusing on the small stuff. Breaking things down into a monthly/weekly/daily structure helps you to keep larger goals in the picture while also contextualizing those micro steps you need to take to reach them.
As an example, say you have a long-term goal to turn an online shop into a physical retail space, but first, you need to make enough to justify the cost of investing in space. Each month, you can check in with your business savings to see how you’re progressing. Weekly tasks could include things like researching potential retail spaces in your area or finding ways to improve your products or marketing techniques. Daily tasks could cover basics like managing orders and posting on social media. This way you always have something you can do that pushes you toward your larger goals.
These are just a few of the techniques you can use to make sure you execute all the little details on the path to your big-picture destination. Remember that a vision for your company – even one you can see clearly – is not, on its own, enough to make a business work. You have to break that vision down into the step-by-step process necessary to make it a reality.
Do you need help finding a grant for your budding business? Sign up for an African American Grants assessment!