5 Tactics I Use as a Small Business Owner to Conquer Each Day

5 Tactics I Use as a Small Business Owner to Conquer Each Day

I personally believe that choosing to run a small business is one of the most difficult things a person can do. In the same breath, it’s also can be the most rewarding. The rewarding part comes from being able to win at a daily level. 

Setting big goals is certainly inspirational. However, that steam runs out quickly if you can’t make small bits of progress each day. That, for me, has been one of the biggest lessons of the past six months. Winning daily is where long-term success will happen as those little wins add up to the cumulative success everyone seeks.

That being said, I employ five strategies as a business owner to help me get through each day. With an increase in discipline over the past six months, I continue to focus on these tactics to have more successful days ahead. 

1. Recharge as Often as Possible

As a small-business owner, I would argue that this is the most important thing for anyone to do, and it is often the last thing that is focused on. There must be time each and every day that is dedicated to you. An hour or even 30 minutes a day for yourself, doing something you enjoy will give you that surge of energy we all want.

Everyone has those days when they just can’t find the energy to make it through. When we reach that stage, I believe our mind and body are literally warning us that we need to recharge. It’s as if we are unconsciously being told by ourselves that we need to take a minute for ourselves and stop giving everything to everyone else.

A common thing for me is being active. If I am ever out of sorts, I know from my own experience that exercise in any way will bring me back. It recharges me physically and, more importantly, mentally. It is a quick reset that gets me back on track. 

2. Seek Out Like-Minded People

Making a constant effort to seek out people who are more advanced than me and from whom I can learn has been a learning journey for me recently.

Find people you admire and seek out their advice. I have done this a few times over the past six months, and I was quite surprised at how willing people are to help. 

The real problem was me. I was telling myself that folks would say no before I even asked. Some will say no, and some will not respond, but that’s only the worst-case scenario. Once I changed my perspective and started connecting with people who want to see me win, I started to reap the benefits. 

3. Prioritize Time for Strategic Thinking

Dedicated time to thinking about where we are going is definitely one of my biggest weaknesses as a small-business owner. My ultimate goal with this is to have 1 hour each workday dedicated to strategic planning for our business. 

Over the course of a year, that would equate to 260 dedicated strategic hours. This is the power of making small wins each day. 

One of the biggest misconceptions about strategic thinking is that results must come from it every time. Really the point is to be free to imagine where your business can go, and it is the time to be innovative vs. iterative. 

4. Lean Into Uncomfortable Conversations 

Out of everything on this list, having uncomfortable conversations is the one thing that should never be delayed, especially as a small-business owner. Most people often create false narratives about their perception of things. 

As a business owner, when there is tension amongst teammates or coworkers, it is your job to help them navigate it. 

The best piece of advice I have to help get through these conversations is to simply listen. Don’t listen with the intent to respond, as that generally makes you skip over what the person is trying to express. Usually, in most scenarios where there is tension, someone simply wants another person to hear their struggle, not necessarily solve it.

How you receive their problem is often more important than fixing it. “I think” language is also something that really shouldn’t be used as it insinuates you know better than they do. 

Expressing advice should be used from an experience-shared perspective because that’s really the only lens you can have on a situation; how something similar affected you.

5. Use Numbers to Tell The Real Story

I love numbers because they tell the actual story without emotion being involved. It is your business’s heartbeat that lets you know how you’re performing. 

Create a scorecard. It is an absolute must. Use this scorecard to navigate your company’s up and down trends and to help you make strategic decisions to move the needle forward.

Our scorecard consists of 3 main components: Operations, Sales/Marketing & Finance. We have 3-5 main tracking metrics to read each department’s pulse. At Smiledog, we track KPIs like ring time, client retention, staff retention, and % of receivables we collect. We review them on a monthly basis to tell us if we are moving in the right direction. 

​​

If there is one thing you can do in 2023, it is to use your strategic time to build your business scorecard. That will have a huge impact on your ability to scale, and it will help you keep every team accountable.

Wrapping Up: Strive for Consistency to be Continuously Success

For me, if I can find a way to use each one of these tactics on a daily basis, then I am confident that the results I’m looking for will come. The hardest part is staying consistent throughout the process. 

It sounds easier said than done, but once I remind myself of my end goal — that light at the end of the tunnel — the actions I take become easier to consistently stick to. 

I hope this leaves you inspired to start implementing (at least) one or two of these tactics, allowing you to conquer each day as a small business owner. 

Building trust in a virtual workplace

Building trust in a virtual workplace

How to Build Trust in a Virtual Workplace


Building trust in a virtual workplace is the cornerstone of all high-performance organizations. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, high-performance companies report 50% more productivity, 76% more engagement, 74% less stress & 70% more alignment with company purpose. 

In a virtual workplace, building trust has its own unique challenges. Without casual interactions at the water cooler, it becomes more difficult to build rapport. Often colleagues lose context for each others’ actions in a remote setting, unable to intuitively pick up on external behaviour influences. Finally, as is always the case, digital communication leaves room for many misunderstandings. 

So how do leaders build trust in a virtual workplace?  

It comes down to a number of factors. The first is kindness.

It may seem over simplified, but treating people with respect is the first step to building a trusted environment. How does this work in a virtual setting? It means allowing for flexibility, understanding that working from home may have some unique challenges and making space for that. Successful leaders carve out time to work with each employee one on one. Additionally, they set up regular weekly meetings as a team to stay connected. Not only that, they know it is important to allow time for employees to connect with each other, so they create opportunities for that. 

Building trust in the virtual workplace requires competence.

Strong leadership skills like communication and transparency are key when working with a team remotely. With so much opportunity for misinterpretation, it is imperative that leaders put communication at the top of their priority list. They don’t always need to have all the answers, but they must be honest about it when they don’t. These actions build a solid foundation for their team.  

Successful remote leaders possess is reliability.

 When building trust, it is essential to do what you say you are going to do. If you promised to send follow up documents at a certain time, ensure that you do. Stand by your commitments, try not to cancel meetings last minute, let your team know that you value their time.  

They foster connection

 Finally, successfully commanding a virtual team, requires creating a genuine connection. Ensuring that your camera is on for every online meeting. Looking directly at the camera emulates eye contact. Making efforts to connect ‘off-line’ via check-in texts and phone calls. Lastly, making sure your team feels comfortable to reach out when they are facing challenges without fear of repercussions. 

 
More and more companies are veering toward a virtual model based on the current situation, but also in a more longer term capacity. Understanding the unique challenges you may face as a remote leader will ensure that you are equipped to succeed. 


If you’d like assistance with building a virtual team, we can help!