The Queen highlighted in her Christmas message how “often the small, not the giant leaps” bring about lasting change in the world. Those words are so relevant in business too and when I think about my own journey as a business owner / entrepreneur, especially the times I’ve felt overwhelmed, and as a result has stopped me from moving forward.  I’ve put together 5 small steps I took in 2019 and some advice for you from my own experience, enjoy the read.

1. Revisit your WHY.  

Think about why you started your business and what your purpose is. What are you trying to achieve, what does your dream life look like? Keeping a notebook or a vision board is a powerful reminder of your WHY. I prefer a notebook, but I’m creating a vision board for 2020!

2. Have a plan

Update your business strategy regularly.  I usually do a 12-month top line one but go in-depth into each season as this is what’s relevant for my own product business.  Keep your business strategy and top line goals in front of you – it helps if you print it off and pin it to the wall/pin board close to your workspace.  Going back to basics will help you refocus.  I also have a bunch of post-it notes above my strategy documents with blue sky ideas! I just write them as I think of them, this helps me keep focused on the plan without ignoring the ideas which come to me in my more creative moments.   

3. Get out of the office!

Getting ‘out of the office’ simply makes a world of difference.  I plan a day out in London monthly.  I usually spend the day soaking up what’s going on in retail and I always have my laptop with me so that I can take a long break and record all my ideas and inspiration. Just getting out of the bubble of my office makes a massive difference to my mindset.

4. Refuse to make a to-do list!

Sounds bold, but stay with me…as soon as I started putting my ‘to-do list’ in my iPhone calendar (nothing fancy), it changed my productivity levels. It helps create structure in my day and ensures I get my tasks done. Time blocking is truly my number 1 productivity hack! One of my 2020 goals is to master using Trello so that I can take planning to the next level!! (ok, maybe a little fancy!). But your smart phone calendar is just fine to begin with if you are new to time blocking!

5. Treat your business seriously!

The actions you take or don’t take will be the make or break of your business! Whether it’s your marketing efforts or managing your cash flow or even get yourself training in a weak area or outsourcing parts of your business. Whatever it is – get into the routine of making these small steps happen!

What small steps did you take in 2019 which are working towards a bigger goal?

By Ami Rabheru, Retail Business Mentor at The Retail Business Hub

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