Running a small business has never been easy. Especially when you’re just starting out, and there’s so much to learn, manage and consider in order to keep afloat.
In the shadow of COVID, operating a small business can seem even more daunting as many within our community are struggling to pave a way through our new normal. With the added pressures of some customers having less money to spend and the future of government stimulus packages unclear, our creativity and organisation can be the first casualties.
In this climate, innovative technology solutions to help us maximise our output and stay connected to our customers and network are essential. Creative thinking when it comes to both new ideas and problem solving is ultimately what can make a good business great.
Here are 5 suggestions for simple changes you can make to your daily work routine that can boost your creativity and organisational prowess.
- Use your deadlines
Working to a deadline is not everyone’s cup of tea, but when you’re struggling to stay motivated, a finish line can be your best friend. The key is to break it down. A series of mini deadlines can feel far more achievable than one big one; allowing you to better distribute your energy and time effectively.
- Limit your distractions
While this may sound obvious, being disciplined about how much you check social media, or get up from your desk to attend to “other” things can really improve your productivity. Pomodoro timers are a sworn trade secret for many within our community as a way to keep a handle on time management when your to-do list is overflowing. They can help you stay focused for a set amount of time, before providing rewards in the form of your favourite distraction. Think of it like a series of small sprints to complete a bigger race!
It can be tempting to shut the door on everyone around us when business gets challenging, but don’t underestimate the power of the hive mind for finding creative solutions to a problem or task. Even a short weekly discussion with a trusted group of friends or fellow small business owners can help keep you motivated and open to innovative solutions.
- Give yourself a break
When things feel overwhelming, rest can be the last thing on our minds, but it has enormous benefit to our sense of wellbeing, creativity and organisation skills. American Express recently teamed up with Small Business Wellbeing Advocate, Leanne Faulkner, founder of Fortitude at Work, to share strategies on how small business owners can ease the pressure. Finding some quiet time to reflect, heading out for a walk or talking to a peer were top of the list. Set aside some downtime daily, whenever it fits best with your schedule, and watch your productivity and creativity markedly improve.
- Invest in your skills
Schedule in time to keep your practical and planning skills up to date. With remote working technology evolving so quickly, your business can only benefit from ways to more easily connect customers to your business network virtually. Microsoft has a range of tools, guides and advice for small businesses designed to help you improve productivity and foster collaboration – including collaboration platforms like Teams, task management software, cloud-based management tools and more. Investing in your technology skills will help you get more done from anywhere!
Free American Express Virtual Masterclass
Learn from the best to become the best. No matter what stage your business is at, you’ll find exciting insights in this new Masterclass that will inspire you to push your business further. Hear from experts and learn tips, tricks and tools for being more organised, creative and impactful using Excel, OneNote and the rest of the Office Suite. Join speakers Taryn Williams, Rae Johnston and a Microsoft expert trainer, as they discuss secrets and show you how your business can meet the moment and maximise any opportunity.