“Work smarter, not harder.” We have all probably heard that saying before. It’s great advice, but many entrepreneurs fail to work smarter and they grind it out and work harder. Which leads to frustration, stress, and burnout. On the other hand, working smarter leads to a work/life balance, control, and focus.
Here are 10 simple ways to get business SMART:
- Come up for some air. This takes on two different meanings. One is, take some time away from your business. You need to recharge your batteries every now and then. The other meaning is that you need to get out of your office and visit other departments within your business. You cannot really understand what is going on in your business if you stay in your glass tower.
- Talk with other. Take employees/managers/sales from other department out for lunch and really get to know them. Try not to talk shop, get to really know them. Listen to their ideas about the business. You will be surprised on what you will find out.
- Spend time with your customers. Find out what the customers REALLY want. Your customers will tell you what they want from your company – ask them. Take customer service calls, and really hear their concerns.
- Get a business mentor. Find someone who knows the business and get them to help you. Get a SCORE mentor to keep you focused and on track. Get that outside perspective. Sorry to tell you this, but your way may not be the best way.
- Read a book. Yes, a real book. Read about business, marketing, sales, accounting, and leadership, grow your knowledge base which will help you grow your business.
- SSSPA. Stop speaking in acronyms. Others will understand you better when you translate tech-speak into standard English. Many of your employees may not know your acronyms which leads to confusion. Be clear.
- Brush up on your social skills. Soft skills are the hot trend today in finding staff, therefore you should have great social skills. Learning new communication techniques will help when IT and marketing cannot communicate properly. You can step in and smooth it all out while educating your departments.
- Look for another answer. So many times, business leaders think they know the answer to solve a problem and many times it is technology. Realize that technology cannot solve every business problem. This is that “thinking outside the box” time.
- Ask Questions. Believe it or not, someone, somewhere has been in your shoes before. If you are not getting answers to your questions – ASK! Ask questions, don’t tell—get answers. A great leader asks lots of questions.
- Get a consensus on terms. Get to the bottom of any failure of communication. Most issues within businesses arise from poor communication. What sounds clear to you, may sound like mud to someone else. Be clear when you communicate. Ask questions to make sure everyone is clear and on the same page.
There are many other ways to work smarter within your business, but these are 10 very simple solutions. As you see, most focus around communication. Get a mentor to help with your communication style to meet the needs of others, which will help you be smarter in your business.