Especially if you’re new at this game, you might feel overwhelmed by all the ways you can help your business succeed. Try these two first:
Financial reports. A budget with the fiscal year’s income and expenses is like a road map. You can take a journey without one, but it’s hard to get to where you’re going if you don’t first plan the route. A month-end profit-and-loss statement shows you how your business has done so far this fiscal year. A month-end balance sheet shows your business’ cumulative health over time.
Bookkeeping or accounting a foreign language? Take some classes or hire someone who will work closely with you. If you can’t understand your financial reports, you have no idea where you’ve been or where you’re headed.
Delegation. Keep a list of what you love to do and what you would like not to do. From the “don’t like” list, craft a job description that will help you find, hire, and train someone to do that task.
A part-time office assistant or manager will likely be your first hire. This person can help you get out from under the burden of doing the data entry that is essential for good financial reporting.
When delegating, create a clear, written description of what you want the employee to do. Then review it with him. Ask him to tell you what he thinks the task involves. Talk about potential pitfalls and how they might be handled. Agree upon when you should check back in, and agree upon when the task will be done. When it’s done, review the outcomes and celebrate what went right, and work with the employee to figure out what could have been done better.
By working on getting good financial reporting in place, and by delegating what you don’t want to do, you start to take control of your business and your life. Isn’t that what you call “success”?