Taking action can be the simplest, and yet somehow the scariest, thing you can do for your small business. It can either be what’s holding you back or propelling you forward. The fear of taking those initial steps will prevent you from turning your amazing idea into the success that it has the potential of being.
Anything worth doing has the potential of being difficult to start, but as a business owner, you have to take that initiative and just do it. CSUF North County Small Business Development Consultant, Ace Tarakchian says, “Without taking any action, the idea is just a dream. The biggest challenge is always taking that first initial step–taking that initial leap.”
Set your goal. Make a plan. And launch your idea. Once you’ve done that, the rest will come much easier. Keep that mindset to never give up and keep taking action, and there’s no limit to what you can accomplish in your small business.
If figuring out where to start is what’s holding you back, keep reading for some changes you can put into practice immediately.
How to Start Taking Immediate Action in Your Small Business
Motivate Yourself to Get Started
Motivation will be the driving force behind everything you do. Remind yourself why you started your small business in the first place. What impact did you want to make in your industry or in the lives of your customers? Finding that initial inspiration can be overwhelming.
Action will create motivation. Start by doing.
If you’re just starting out, Ace suggests brainstorming. “Figure out how to monetize the idea. Is it something people need? Can it be easily adopted into their current lifestyle? Is there something out there that already exists? How is what you have any different, unique, or novel? And will it disrupt the market?” He recommends using a lean canvas template to flesh out your ideas.
“The biggest hurdle is always taking that initial step–that initial leap. It’s usually up to the entrepreneur to find that drive within themselves to take that first step. Most people are usually afraid of what it will entail, but everything is all about taking little baby steps. Ask for help, find mentors, get friends or family to pitch in — get some guidance.”
Change Your Environment
Issues will come up. They’re inevitable. What’s important is how you deal with them. Focus on shifting your management style from reactive to proactive.
Waiting for something to happen can cause larger issues later on. “Lean toward more proactive management where you plan, you’re prepared, and you’re able to adapt a little bit better. You’ll have more data to help guide you.” According to our consultant, Ace, someone who’s proactive is always trying to anticipate new and emerging opportunities.
However, while taking problems head-on should be the standard, you should keep a system in place for reactive management and respond to certain situations as they arise.
Set the Right Tone for Your Day
Another step to changing your environment is setting the right tone for your day. You’ve committed to addressing your business issues head-on, but setting yourself up for success every day will further drive long-term change.
Set your alarm, schedule your calendar, pre-plan a checklist with your daily tasks, and when your day is over: repeat.
Take it from Ace: “Eventually this will become routine, and then habit, and then you’ll probably end up starting the day on a more positive note than before.”
Define, Write and Finish Your To-Do List
Your to-do list is going to make or break your new action-centric mindset. As a small business owner, you wear many hats. In the beginning, you may wear all the hats. Writing a to-do list will give you a tangible item to visualize every task you need to accomplish in a given day.
Physically crossing something off of a list–even a small item–will help motivate you to keep going and prevent you from being overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to get done.
Write down all your tasks, small and large. Your level of organization is up to you, but finishing that list is “one of the most empowering and satisfying feelings in the world” according to Ace.
Find the system that works for you. Hubspot explains 7 different styles you can try out.
Use Your Team
Your team is essential to your success. Use them for smaller tasks. If you need to focus on larger issues, paperwork shouldn’t always be your focus. Trusting them with things like bookkeeping will let you stay up-to-date on your foundational tasks without cutting into your valuable time.
If you’re just starting out and don’t have a team in place, use your family, mentors, or our consultants to help lighten the load. You can always ask our consultants for help to guide you in the right direction or help you with the tasks that you aren’t as familiar with.
Set Up Uninterrupted Time to Work
Set up uninterrupted work time. Eliminating distractions will keep you from procrastinating on things that are happening in your office space. Find a separate room, lock the door, turn off your phone, and let your team know you’ll be unavailable. You’ll get more time to focus, get your work done, and feel more productive.
Keep a Positive Mindset
Last but definitely not least, stay positive. Positive mindsets are the most important assets to making permanent changes in your environment, and ultimately the life of your small business.
Ace reminds us to “appreciate those little successes. Celebrate those very small wins. You may not make those giant leaps or strides that you wanted to make to reach your overall goal, but you did take a little step towards it and that’s something to celebrate.”
Taking action may seem like a daunting task, but changing these small things in your day-to-day will create habits that can propel your business forward into success. Your ideas are worth doing, but figuring out how to start may keep you from achieving your goals. Our consultants may be that necessary addition to your team that helps you take that first step. Scheduling a consultation will help pair you with a consultant to fit your needs. They’ll work with you to spark action for your business. We can help you write your initial business plan, help you get funding, negotiate lease agreements, and more.
“Take those small steps. Don’t stop learning. Don’t stop growing. Find a network of people to mentor you, help you and guide you. You’ll feel that the first step isn’t so hard to take and it wasn’t so bad. You’ve seen tons of other people do it. You’ve probably heard tons of other success stories. All that happens with just an initial step. I encourage you, and implore you, if you have questions or need guidance there are tons of mentors and guidance out there.”
Click here to learn more about Ace and our amazing consultants.