Getting things DONE – boy is that hard! Particularly when you own an embroidery business or apparel decoration business. You are pulled in so many different directions – all the time. You have to sell yourself and your products. Maybe you also have to produce your products. And do not even get me started about the “invisible” work – ordering inventory, sorting and quality-checking it when it arrives, ordering supplies, changing the thread colors, switching from caps to flats (and back – again – for one more cap). It is no wonder that we often feel like we never get enough done. If you are a solopreneur, working alone – wow – it is even harder. If you are a home-based embroidery business – it is all to easy to get off track when you are surrounded by ALL of your life, not just your business!
Here is my question for you today –
What can you do differently to help you focus on getting done the things that will help your embroidery business / apparel decoration business succeed?
After all, the success of your business is the end game, right? I suspect you are not in business to keep the machine running. I suspect you are not in business to fill your time. I suspect you are not in business to be delivering goods all over town and back every day. Ultimately, you are in business to succeed – whatever success means to you.
Money, freedom, control, time or your ideal combination of all those things – that is WHY you are doing this.
If this is true, then how can you get clear on what you need to be doing to achieve that success? I’ve started using a strategy for our business, and it is working for me, so I thought I would share it with you.
I am a list maker. I used to make LONG lists. This turned out to be a not so effective strategy for me, as I was distracted from a high priority task by some other less important task on the list. I would think to myself (often), “Well, if I get this other thing done, then I can cross it off my list.” I found that I was doing the less important tasks, the quick ones, when I should have be focusing on the higher priority tasks which were much more essential to the success of my business.
Now, I have a different way of making lists, and I am finding that it really works much better for me.
Every day when I start work, I list no more than 3 things that I MUST accomplish that day. And one of these tasks has to be related to the well-being and success of my business, a high priority task. The other two things can be mid or low priority. Some examples might be:
- Finishing an order by the deadline – high priority.
- Finishing an order that is not due for another week – mid priority.
- Ordering inventory – high priority IF you have not done it in a few days.
- Connecting with potential customers – high priority.
- Organizing stabilizers – low priority.
- Straightening the stock design books – low priority if you are not in retail setting, possibly a mid priority if you have a retail storefront.
Once I set the plan for the 3 tasks for the day, I then get to make my longer list (yeah, they make me happy) of what I need to do to accomplish this task. I break the big task (connect with potential customers) down into bite size chunks such as make 3 phone calls to businesses like my favorite customers, send a follow up email to person X about their inquiry from a few days ago, etc. Then I cruise through the day, checking off the things on the TO DO section. When I do it properly, at the end of the day, my three main tasks have been accomplished because I worked my way through the steps necessary to meet the goals I set for myself.
Success is not an accident – it is achieved when you have a specific destination in mind and you intentionally do the things required to reach that destination. It is all to easy to get waylaid with busy work, tasks that do not actually earn income or move your business forward. If you spend the majority of your time time doing things that do not help you succeed, it is likely that you never will!
And now I get to check off getting this written, and in a few moments, I will also check off that I sent you the email about it.
What do you do to help you stay focused on accomplishing your goals and making your business a success? Leave your comments below – I would love to try your tactics.