I came across an old article from Tom Peters the other day and it reminded me of the usefulness of a daily checklist. When setting up and running a small business, there are millions of tasks that need your attention. Very often the “urgent” takes priority over the “important” and it can sometimes seem that you spend your time running fast but not really sure you are getting anywhere or at least nowhere in the direction you thought you ought to be going! So, what would the items be on your ideal high-performing, high-business growth “Have Yous” checklist be?
Here are some of my daily recommended Have Yous?:-
- thought about the long-term goals of your business today?
- checked in with a customer/client?
- thanked someone?
- followed up a marketing lead/ done some marketing?
- taken time to reflect on what has gone well?
- learnt something new?
- set up a 1-2-1 meeting with any of your direct reports/suppliers?
- checked your cashflow/budgeting?
- asked someone what he or she might need from you to help him or her?
- done some competitor research?
- challenged a process/put a process in place to save time or money?
- inspired anyone?
- assessed your progress against your business plan/measures?
- taken time for yourself – your family?
- Asked yourself what would should the last “have you” be and added it to this list?
In my PROCESS business growth model, I identify seven levers for growth. They are the seven dimensions of your business, which you should focus upon to ensure that you are leading your business rather than just managing it. That old adage “on the business” not just “in the business”. In reality, this is difficult in the early days when there may only be you, however setting some reflective time aside each day will ensure you can run through these seven levers to ensure you are on track. Every day does sound rather excessive but 10 minutes every day saves you a larger chunk of time that you might otherwise have to find. Worse still, your “urgent” may mean that you don’t see risks looming. Oh and the levers? Purpose, Resources, Organisation, Culture, Environment, Systems – all leading to Strategy. More on the seven levers can be found from my blog or watch the webinar.
These are my “Have Yous” but what are yours? If I were to add to the list, I would probably also have other leadership skills such as, active listening, open questioning, coaching and developing people. Some people argue that these aspects only become important as your business grows and people management becomes an integral part of your every day. There is evidence to suggest, however, that getting the people/task focus balance right from the start is the key to success!