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Business Sustainability

Four Practices for the Long-Term Health of Your Business

By REDC Business Advisor Kerri Salls

I often meet business owners who are struggling because they can’t sustain what they’ve built all on their own; or they are so run ragged that they can’t take advantage of new market opportunities because they are spread too thin as it is.

Yes, you could give up a piece of the business to take on something new. I don’t know any business owner who built their business from scratch who would easily give up business for any reason. And in my mind you don’t have to. Instead, it’s how you structure your business that will allow you to have it all.

Consider sustainable practices in your business to free up time, streamline processes, and get more done; all while you do something else (maybe take time off, or maybe pursue that new market opportunity).

Here are four sustainability practices to apply, evaluate and measure the impact and benefit to your business.

Build a new muscle

You’ve heard the rule, that it takes 21 days to establish a new. This applies in your business too. That’s where time management tools (paper or digital) like a daily goals list, or a Weekly Plan sheet are invaluable – but only if you use them. Make using these tools a lifetime habit to sustain your high productivity.

Plan your work; work your plan

You can’t get more done in less time without planning. You need to work out what needs to be done; when; who is the best person for the task; who to assign to it and train them; and then follow-through until you complete the whole plan – whether it’s for a month, a project or the whole year.

Schedule everything and anything that takes more than 15 minutes to complete.

Every time you schedule a task, you get control of it. This is a sustainability practice that used consistently, will create boundaries for everything you do and help you manage to keep many more balls in the air at the same time. If 1-2 person businesses in a range of industries can generate multiple revenue streams on less than a 40-hour work week, you can too. It all starts with a tight time structure to get more done.

Delegate and Outsource and Outsource

For a growing business to be sustainable, it is essential that the owner take on more of a leadership role and wean away from the technician role. That’s why the 4th sustainability practice on this list is learning to delegate and outsource. When you focus on control and responsibility as reasons to not delegate and outsource, you are demonstrating that your business is unsustainable without you in every role – which IS unsustainable. Instead, start to entrust specific tasks and responsibilities to others one-by-one. Each task that can be done by someone else is one more building block to making your business sustainable for the long term.

Apply these four practices and see for yourself how significant they are to your business sustainability.

Interested in personalized advise for your small business in New Hampshire? We offer free, one-on-one technical assistance. Learn more and contact us here:


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