What to include in your new business to-do list
Starting a new business is a great first step, however, you still have a lot of work ahead of you. What you put on your to-do list will determine what you focus on and how you get along in your business. That’s why it’s so important to know your top priorities so they can take the top spots on your list.
You will know what those priorities are after reading this post.
As a new business owner, you are probably feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the information out there. If you feel a little bit confused, that’s okay. I am going to make things a little less confusing, so you can focus on growing your business.
Here are some of the top priorities for a new business.
Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure at the top of the page.
1. BUILDING BRAND AWARENESS
One of your most important jobs as a new business owner is to get your name out there.
If your potential customers don’t know that you exist, you can’t sell your products or services or generate revenue. That’s why building brand awareness should be at the top of a new business to do list.
Now, building brand awareness doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere at once. Trying to be everywhere as a new business owner is just asking for trouble. Additionally, you will get burned out pretty fast and you probably won’t get the result you want.
When it comes to building brand awareness, you have to be creative and strategic. You have to know where you are more likely to find success and more importantly, you have to go where your customers are.
Brand awareness means nothing if you don’t get in front of the right people. And by the right people, I mean the people who are interested in what you are selling.
Okay, so how do you build brand awareness as a new business owner?
There are lots of ways to build brand awareness, here are a few that a new business could easily do.
- Become known for something. In other words, brand yourself. What do you want to be known for? Do you want to be known for providing unique recipes? Are you a coach for single moms or moms of toddlers? Whatever it is you do, become an expert in it and be known as the go-to person.
- Differentiate yourself from your competitors. Whether it is the type of content you create, how you price your products, or the unique experience you create for your customers, find a way to stand out.
- Go where your customers are. Put yourself in front of them. You can use social media, Youtube or any other platform your potential customers hang out.
- Find out how your potential customers or audience consume information and make that a part of your strategy.
- Be consistent.
- Participate in events. If you are a local business, participate in local events and spread the word.
- Ask for introduction from family or friends.
- Build trust. Know your values and stick to them.
- Be active on social media or other sites like Quora
- Network with other business owners.
As you can see, there are so many ways to build brand awareness for a new business. However, as I said at the beginning, don’t try to do lots of things at the same time. Pick a few and do them well. That’s how you make things work.
2. SELLING AND BRINGING IN SOME REVENUE
One of your top priorities as a new business owner is to generate some revenue as early as possible.
If you are in business to make money, you should make that a priority and not an afterthought.
Sadly, too many new business owners spend their time on things that add little or no value to their business. They spend hours trying to find the right theme for their website or their brand colors. While those things are nice and improve the user experience, they should not be at the top of your to-do list.
One reason why generating revenue early is so important is that it validates your idea, and keeps you motivated. Knowing people are interested in what you offer is a good indication that you are on the right track.
Now, it doesn’t matter how much you earn so don’t focus on that. As a new business owner, you probably won’t start off making a lot of money. Don’t set unrealistic revenue goals, so you are not disappointed. It will take some time to hit your revenue goals but that should not stop you from trying.
When you sit down to write your to-do list, make sure you prioritize selling and generating revenue. What this means is that most of your business activities or tasks should be focused on that goal.
If you need some help in this area, check out the posts below.
3. FINDING THE BEST MARKETING STRATEGY FOR YOUR BUSINESS
When you are a new business owner, you probably won’t know the best strategies for your business until you try them.
For the first few months of your business, you are going to try new things, do a few tests, and analyze the results before you can know what works and what doesn’t. This can take anything from a few weeks to a few months.
Since marketing is the bedrock of your business, one of your main priorities is to find the best marketing strategy for your business. You can’t attract customers or generate revenue if you can’t get in front of the right people.
Marketing and selling go hand in hand, so you need a strategy to attract customers so you can sell to them.
From experience, I know lots of new business owners struggle with marketing their business. They have no idea how to promote their business or how to get the initial customers and clients.
The truth is that there’s no magic bullet. You are going to need to roll up your sleeves and do the hard work. Doing the hard work means being consistent. Marketing a new business is a daily task whether you like it or not.
There are lots of marketing strategies to choose from. The most effective ones will depend on your type of business and your marketing budget. Yes, you need a marketing budget for your new business.
Since I have a post on how to create an effective marketing strategy, there’s no need to repeat everything here. If you are interested in finding the right marketing strategies for your business, go check out that post.
4. CASH FLOW MANAGEMENT
Your new business to-do list must include cash flow management if you want to stay in business long-term.
Lots of businesses go under within the first five years primarily because of poor financial management or lack of funding.
Sadly, lots of entrepreneurs don’t have the financial management skills they need to operate their businesses, and many don’t even try to improve their financial skills.
While you don’t have to be a financial expert, you should have a solid grasp of your business and personal finances.
How you manage your business cash flow will determine the financial health and viability of your business. If you want your business to be cash flow positive, you will need to keep a close eye on how money flows in and out of your business.
There’s an expression that goes something like this, “It’s not how much you make, it is how much you keep.” What this means is that the money flowing out of your business should not exceed the money coming in.
Also, your business will need to be profitable to be sustainable. It’s not good enough to just break even. Your business also needs a good net profit margin.
Good cash flow management will allow you to fund new projects, create new products, and fund your business growth. All good things.
If you don’t feel confident about your financial skills, your next step is to start learning everything you can about business finances. Here is a business finance 101 article to get you started.
5. INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY SHOULD BE ON YOUR NEW BUSINESS TO DO LIST
Lots of new business owners (or small business owners) are sole proprietors. Many have no employees to take on some of the workload, which means they have to do everything themselves. This can put a lot of pressure on them.
If you are a new business owner and you are a sole proprietor, you have to learn how to become more productive and increase efficiency.
With the number of daily tasks that are required to run and grow a business, increasing your productivity and cutting down on the amount of time it takes to complete tasks, is the only way to make progress in your business.
Whether or not you stay on top of your to-do list will depend on how productive and efficient you are. If you don’t like the idea of carrying tasks from one day to the other, you will need a system for getting things done.
Being productive is about managing your time, knowing your priorities, setting goals, streamlining your activities, and creating systems and processes for your business. Also, automating some tasks (especially repetitive tasks) can boost your productivity.
So, when you think of your new business to do list, think of the best ways to complete the tasks on your list. The more tasks you can complete, the faster you can grow your business. Of course, you have to complete the right tasks for this to work.
If you need help figuring out what you should focus on as a new business owner, check out the Focus and Grow Your Business Email Course below. It’s a free 5-day course with lots of tips. Check it out!
6. IMPROVING YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS
As a new business owner, you will probably have a lot to learn about entrepreneurship. You need a lot of skills to start and grow a business, so it is important that you have a plan for improving your entrepreneurial skills.
Lots of business owners become stuck after launching their business because they don’t know what they should do next or how to move their business forward. If you don’t want that to happen to you, you must improve your business knowledge and skills.
Improving your entrepreneurial skills doesn’t mean you should invest in every course or buy all the business products you can find. This approach will only lead to overwhelm and inaction.
The best way to improve your business skills is to identify your current skills and any gap in your knowledge. What do you need to know to move your business forward?
Once you identify where you need help or your weaknesses, it is easy to come up with a plan to address them.
An easy way to improve your entrepreneurial skills is to commit to learning every day (or most days of the week). Pick a topic you want to learn about and spend some time doing that. Don’t move on to another topic until you complete the first one.
Yes, you can learn more than one topic at a time, but that can be distracting. And, let’s be honest, most of us don’t have the discipline to see multiple things through at the same time.
Learning doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming if you go about it the right way.
Don’t be afraid to tackle difficult subjects. I know some subjects like search engine optimization and email marketing can seem intimidating, but they are really not if you learn from the right people or use the right resource.
Final thoughts on top priorities for your new business to do list
In this post, I have shared six things you should prioritize on your to-do list. I believe if you focus on these things, you will make a lot of progress in your business.
Now, there are other things that are important and are worth investing some time in. For example, networking with other business owners. But be very careful here since this can become a time suck, and there’s always the danger of getting some wrong information or advice. Always, use your discretion!
Finally, remember to sign up for the Focus and Grow Your Business Email Course if you need some more help. You can sign up below.
Are you a new business owner? What’s on your to-do list and how do you stay on top of it?