9 Easy Ways to See Your Small Business through Fresh Eyes
You work hard. You have a small business to build, so it can be easy to think about it 24/7 and get burnt out. Nobody wants you to burn out – not your employees, your family, nor your customers. To prevent yourself from burning out, you might need a fresh perspective – to help you look at your company in a new light and come up with new ideas.
1. Take the Afternoon Off
If you’re starting to feel burnt out, take the afternoon off just because. Do something to take your mind off work – play golf, people watch, go shopping – it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s not work-related.
Tomorrow, when you’re back in the office, you’ll feel refreshed and have a whole new outlook.
2. Shadow an Employee for the Day
Spend the day shadowing one of your employees to find out what a typical day looks like for them and to find out how things are really going.
Maybe you have a customer that keeps hassling your staff, but you won’t know unless you experience it. Maybe an employee has a skillset that you didn’t know about, but you’ll discover it by spending the day in their shoes.
Now, this might make some of your employees uncomfortable (they might think they’re in trouble since you’re following them around), so ask for volunteers. That way, everyone knows they’re not in trouble, and you just genuinely want to find out what it’s like to work for the company.
You can even offer to just switch with an employee for the day – give someone a bit of a break by working the cash register for a while.
3. Take Your Employees Out to Lunch
Pick a week or two to take your employees out to lunch. Then, take a different employee to lunch every day. You don’t have to spend the lunch talking about work; you can just chat and get to know your employees.
4. Clean Your Office
You don’t have to wait for spring to do some deep cleaning and reorganize your office. You might find something that triggers your next big idea.
5. Read a New Book
Read a new book that’s related to your industry or to running a small business. Sure, it might tell you things you already know, but it could also contain that tiny nugget you needed to get out of your fog and gain a new perspective on your business.
6. Find a Mentor
Every small business owner needs a mentor. If you don’t already have one, go find one. A mentor can give you advice and suggestions that you would have never thought of on your own.
Spend some time volunteering in your community (or, close up shop one day and bring your whole team to volunteer at the local soup kitchen). You’ll be so busy that you won’t have time to think about work, so you might have a great idea pop into your head. Plus, you and your team will feel good that you’re giving back to your community.
8. Pretend You’re a Customer
Have you ever looked at your business through a new customer’s perspective? Probably not.
Pretend you’ve never been in your store before and go shopping. How easy is it to find what you’re looking for? How helpful are your employees?
When you’re pretending to be a new customer, make sure you jot down anything that could be done better, so you can actually make the changes.
9. Work Somewhere Else
Working in your office day after day can get monotonous. Sometimes all you need to clear the cobwebs is to work from somewhere else for the day. Work from home, a coffee shop, or just somewhere else in your office or store. Sometimes, disrupting your routine can help you gain a whole new perspective.