Q: As a young business owner, how can you make sure that you aren’t getting caught up in the details of the business and instead focus on the bigger picture?
A: Schedule the time. “It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day work of the business. The best way to ensure you pay attention to the bigger picture is to intentionally set aside time for it. I take every Wednesday to just work ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ it. I’m out of the office, away from my team, and out of my inbox (mostly). This allows me time to make sure I don’t lose sight of the big picture.” Erik Reagan, Focus Lab, LLC
Hire staff to assist with day-to-day tasks. “It’s important to take a close look at how (and where) your time is being absorbed. Hire staff to replace the time that you’re currently spending on activities that are purely ‘inside’ of the business. You can outsource more than you think. Even though it was a slow process, this was one of the best moves I ever made as I now concentrate on building up the company.” Alex Miller, Upgraded Points
Learn to delegate. “Put the right people in place, and learn to delegate. When this is done correctly you end up with the right people handling the day-to-day duties, allowing you to focus on growth. Also, learn to unplug completely, whether it is a Sunday or a random day off midweek. Disconnect from email and your mobile phone to recharge. Some of my best ideas have come to me during these sessions.” Jonathan Long, Market Domination Media
Set realistic expectations. “Don’t beat yourself up when you get caught up in the details. It will happen and it’s normal! Set a plan for when you realistically think you can get out of the details again, and then make another plan to stay out of the details when you are tempted to jump back in. Then add a third plan for your team to implement when you insist that you must be involved in ‘JUST THIS’ detail. Then repeat.” Jenny Kincaid, Mind Above Matter, LLC
Write it down. “There is something to be said about visual reminders. Write down your big picture goal. Keep it short, include the day’s date, and post it somewhere you will notice. If necessary, add Post-it notes with key accomplishments needed to reach your end goal. By having a visual reminder with a date, it becomes clear whether or not you’ve veered off course and for how long. Be sure to update it.” Tekin Tatar, BeFunky Inc
Use a project management system. “To feel confident that day-to-day operations are progressing, start by setting up a project management infrastructure to make sure projects are being tracked effectively. Next, hire someone to assist you in managing those operations. Finally, check in with team leads at least once a week. Then, set aside at least two hours a day to focus on ‘big picture’ projects.” Marcela De Vivo, Brilliance
Follow proper systems. “You have to work on the business and not in the business. Early on, a good owner needs to have systems created. Once you nail down the proper systems that will help you be successful, you have to follow them, and results will flourish. Without creating or following proper systems, you’ll never grow.” Josh York, GYMGUYZ
Delegate tasks and learn to let go. “The easiest way to not get caught up in the details of the business is to delegate tasks to the appropriate employees at the company and trust them. Many young business owners tend to hang on to the responsibility by feeling that their oversight is required. But you have to remember that you hired your employees so they can help take on these tasks, and you should let them do just that.” Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
Consult mentors and coaches. “I’m a huge fan of mentors and coaches. I have three coaches and several mentors, and I read books and other helpful materials. I have frequent check-ins with people who know more than I do. It takes humility, but in order to grow and see what’s important, you need to communicate with someone more experienced.” Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. “Surround yourself with people who believe in what you are doing, share your passion and see the big picture as well. This will give you the discipline and insights to focus on the important, top line challenges — and keep you from drowning in small, short-term details that you need to delegate to others on your team.” David Herzka, David Fin