Your time is precious, and in today’s super fast, technology infused world, the proverbial “to-do” list for a small business owner seems to never end. But before you spend one more second juggling an impossible schedule, we want to make sure that these three very important tasks are at the very top of your list – because they may just be the only three that matter. Read on.
1. Collect and analyze data relevant to your business.
Thanks to modern technology, data is at the fingertips of every person on the planet. The only caveats are that you have to know where to find it and how to translate it into something meaningful that will impact your business.
Some of the data you’ll collect yourself, such as sales (who is buying what and when and for how much). Some of it, such as page views of your company blog or social media progress, can be found somewhere such as Google Analytics. You should also be looking at employer performance (by the numbers), overhead, budgets, etc. Read the data, make sense of it, and use it to make more educated decisions.
2. Learn how to read basic financial statements.
Often, small business owners are people who had a brilliant idea. A stroke of genius, however, is not a guarantee that you’re a finance whiz. While you don’t need to be a data analyst to run a small business, you need to understand what’s happening with your finances to ensure that every dollar counts.
Ask your accountant to walk you through your taxes, simple financial statements, and cash-flow charts. You should have an idea of what you’re looking at when you see such papers. But you must have a clear understanding of the money coming in and out of your business and employee salaries and benefits. Make it a priority to understand your finances and monitor them regularly. Here’s some handy smart phone apps that make financial management a breeze.
3. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing
In the history of small businesses, owners have never had as much access to potential and current customers as they do now. Digital marketing channels like search engines, social media platforms and review sites make it possible to boost your brand’s visibility, tout your services, and maintain a regular dialogue with current and prospective clients.
Despite these truths, many small business owners view digital marketing as an expense – and a headache – that they can’t afford. This is far from the truth and the new digital marketing model is both affordable and turn key (you just need to know where to look. Hint: you’ve come to the right place!). Digital marketing matters now more than ever, and Yodle is here to help.
In conclusion, it’s par for the course that running your own business means a never-ending list of important “to-do” tasks. However, by using data to inform your decisions, monitoring your financial model, and keeping digital marketing top of mind you’re on track for success not matter the length of that list.
What are the most important tasks you do on a regular basis? Tell us in the comments below.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community