The Top 10 Must-Do Activities for Small Businesses

As small business owners, we have lots of activities that demand our time and attention. In order to become successful, we need to tend to the following activities that provide the biggest return on our investment of time and money:

  1. Create your mission statement – Your Company’s mission statement will provide the focus for what products and services you should be providing to your customers.
  2. Define specific goals – These clearly defined goals should support your mission statement. Keep it to no more that three at a time for a higher success rate.
  3. Develop action plans – These step-by-step tasks should support your goals. Each goal should have a complete action plan outlining the steps needed to achieve it.
  4. Budget for business activities – When all planned activities have a dollar amount associated with it, you will know very quickly what you can and cannot do. In addition, this step will help to prioritize what you will do first.
  5. Form your circle of influence – This is your team of supportive peers with whom you can share ideas and receive constructive feedback. These individuals will be priceless to you.
  6. Participate in Professional Organizations – Decide which of the many organizations will provide the much-needed information and networking opportunities to grow your business. Don’t just pay and become an attending member, but join or lead committees to get higher visibility.
  7. Develop strategic alliances – As small business owners, you are strongly encouraged to work with others who complement your services and have a desire to work with you – you will become more profitable and experienced quicker than if you were working alone. Your customers will also experience the great benefits derived from forming alliances.
  8. Establish an exchange system – It could be a referral or bartering system. All parties agree upfront what will be exchanged. This system should be a win-win for all participants. Tit-for-tat does not work but fairness and trust will ensure its success.
  9. Develop a database for contact information – All contact information for customers, prospects, associates, vendors and others should be maintained in one database for quick access and updating.
  10. Promote your business often – At least once per month, think of opportunities and activities to promote your business to your contact list (another great reason to maintain a database). For example, an appointment by an official, community sponsorships, published work and featured stories by the media. This will remind others about your business.

About the Author: Rosemarie I. Strawn, MBA, Owner of Positive Actions, is a Motivational Speaker and Trainer. She is known as the “Productivity-Balance Strategist”. Positive Actions provides organizations with easy-to-use how-to solutions to increase productivity and morale while enjoying work/life balance. Some topics covered are Time Management, Conflict Management and Public Speaking. Positive Actions offers a FREE Ezine on Productivity Improvement from its website at Also, they offer a FREE 5-minute Video demo with great tips from the “Public Speaking with Confidence” Training at