I’m a small business owner for the first time in my life and I must say, over the past year I’ve learned a lot. I don’t sleep much (I’m working on that) and I assume that many of our LibDib Makers, restaurants, bars and retailers are in the same boat. I’ve spoken to many of you who work long hours, have dumped your life savings into your business, and are working hard every day to make it happen.
Literally every day I get thrown a 100 things and for me, the most important thing I’ve learned is prioritization. Every morning I look at my to-do list and I pick the most important things I need to do that day. Here’s a little insight into what I’ve learned to focus on.
LibDib Priority #1 – Staffing
Given my business, staffing is number one. I need to have enough people to get the job done and I need to hire good people. I spend a lot of time making sure the people we hire are doers. I need people working hard and I need people who are flexible. I may ask someone to do a task that isn’t in their job description and I need them to get it done. Luckily, we have an amazing team who are all committed. I couldn’t do it without them.
I also have an amazing right hand man, Rich Brashears. He is not only the co-founder and CTO of LibDib, but he really operates as the COO. He sleeps much less than I do, and he works twice as hard. He’s truly the reason LibDib has the best engineering team around. And, he’s definitely a cheerleader for all of us.
LibDib Priority #2 – Revenue
As the head of LibDib I need to make sure that I’m focusing on things that involve revenue. I put aside a large part of my day to make sure that we are focused on things that make money or that bring in an investment. After all, I have a staff to pay and people who rely on me.
LibDib Priority #3 – Is Everything Working?
Every single day I take a look at our systems. Are they working? Is there anything that needs to be improved? I have regular meetings with the team where we report on all processes. As a technology company and a distributor I can tell you, there’s a lot to check. I have a feeling that most of you feel the same way. Making sure things are running smoothly and adjusting things as needed, is super important.
LibDib Priority #4 – Networking
As CEO, my job is to network. In fact, this week I’m attending Women of the Vine Executive Summit in New York and the WSWA Women’s Leadership Council in DC. I’m meeting with partners, talking with Makers and overall working the market. I really enjoy this part of the business as I love meeting new people. Also, being able to network with other women in this male-dominated business, is a huge plus.
I hope this helps you just a little bit. As you struggle to check off the 100 things on your to-do list, remember that all small business owners deal with it. Once you determine what the 4-5 buckets are each day, you can more easily figure out what’s most important. I don’t have it totally figured out but I know that learning from other business owners has really helped me. And if you can get some sleep at night, that’s just a bonus.