- Identify clear goals and future milestones that you want your business to achieve.
- Create a strategy to achieve those goals.
- Break it down into smaller groups, departments, or categories.
- Identify tactical strategies, steps, or tasks that require completion to achieve your goals.
- Sort and prioritize your tactical strategies.
- Block out time and set deadlines for completing each task.
- Whenever possible, delegate tasks. Ensure that instructions and goals are clear. Don’t take on too many open tasks at once. This will only lead to confusion and lots of incomplete tasks. Multi-tasking is the enemy of productivity.
Keep a daily work diary. Write down every task that you handle. At the end of each week, assign a value to each task indicating which tasks can be delegated or outsourced. When making this type of decision, think about what your time is worth. For example, is your time better spent focusing on marketing or filing paperwork?
Time Management Tips
Keep your working space organized. File papers promptly, or set a time to file papers all at once. Don’t let that paperwork pile up. Get into the filing habit now, while your company is still small. This will also set a good example for your employees to follow.
Return emails and calls promptly, ideally within twenty-four hours. Set a time to do this but not first thing in the morning. I found that when I would answer calls first thing, I would get distracted by what other people wanted or needed me to do and my to-do list would get pushed back or put off. The best time to answer the phone or reply to emails is after you got your priority items done or started as sometimes you’re also waiting on others input.
Focus on accomplishing things. In other words, focus on productivity.
Getting Started Checklist
- Research your business/industry, and determine what you’re going to sell.
- Capital—How much money do you have/need to invest in the business? For inventory? employees? For marketing your new business?
- Know your burn rate. How fast are you spending money versus what is coming in?
- Register for a business license and legal entity.
- Online storefront platform—Research and find the best one you can afford. (See chapter 8 for features and functionality requirements
Ecom Hell: How to Make Money in Ecommerce Without Getting Burned