Have you been pulled in different directions, and gotten completely off track? Use these suggestions to help keep yourself focused.
Do some upfront planning. It’s easy to end up lost when you fail to take deliberate, persistent action to grow your small business. Usually it’s because there is no master plan. And when you don’t have a plan for your business, you are just drifting.
If you are still in the beginning stages or need to rethink your strategy, do some brainstorming and get creative with ideas to build your business. Create the vision of what your successful business will be like. Set your goals with that vision in mind, and work backwards to what you can do right away to get into action.
But if you have a fertile mind that is always full of new ideas, you may start questioning whether to make changes in your plan. It’s OK to strategize, and you can change your goals. But not all ideas are viable or even make sense for you to pursue. Keep track of ideas by writing them down. Then, review every few months or so to see if they make sense given your overall vision for your business. Meanwhile, stay the course and take note of your results.
Get an accountability partner. So, who will know whether you are following through or not? Nobody, if you are working alone and haven’t discussed your strategy with anyone. An accountability partner can be another artist, a friend or a mentor who helps you follow through with plans by speaking to you on a regular basis. They may ask about that updated website you had planned to complete this week. Or whether you have finished the new designs for your spring line.
Meanwhile, you can be an accountability partner for them as well. This gives you both a deadline to complete tasks, and someone to discuss challenges with when issues come up.
Say no to distractions. Have you planned to start marketing or do a lot of studio work, and find yourself doing something else entirely? Have you ended up standing in front of the fridge, because you couldn’t get yourself motivated? This sabotages your plans and quite often leads to procrastination.
Have you ended up standing in front of the fridge, because you couldn’t get yourself motivated?
Let’s be honest. Starting and growing a small business is hard. Sometimes, anything else seems easier, and it’s not uncommon to give in or bail out. If necessary, make a schedule where you give yourself bite-sized tasks to accomplish, or just an hour or two to commit to your business. Then, take note of what pulls you away from focusing on the job at hand, so you can recognize the signs next time and avoid that distraction.
Delegate what you don’t want to do. Maybe you hate the idea of doing your taxes. Or managing your website, or shipping out your work, or ….. the list goes on. Unless you are absolutely vital to a particular task, you can probably find someone else to do it. Virtual assistants, webmasters, graphic designers, and studio assistants can be available to keep you centered on the important business of growing yours.
Get some help. Sometimes it just helps to bounce ideas off someone who can give you unbiased and professional feedback. A mentor can review your plans, help you understand your options and overcome challenges. They can assist you in returning to the path you chose to follow, refocused and reinvigorated.
What has led you offtrack with your art business? How did you get refocused?
The Arts Business Institute offers personalized business consultation services. Learn more here.