A common complaint I hear from small business owners goes something like this: “David, I’m in a rut. The days are becoming monotonous, I’ve lost the will to improve my business, and I’ve stopped looking for opportunities to innovate.”
It’s a common challenge faced by professionals everywhere, whether they own their own business or work for another.
But the stakes are much higher for business owners. While a corporate employee only has his own job to worry about, it is difficult for a small business to survive when the owner isn’t fully engaged.
One of the best ways to avoid this problem is to keep your day-to-day activities fresh. Everything in life becomes boring if you repeat it often enough—think about it. You maylove your business and love your role as the leader, but if you’re doing the same thing over and over, it’s going to get old.
This concept is equally (perhaps even more-so) true of your employees. They’re not likely to say it, but if each day is a mirror image of the previous day, they’re going to become bored, unengaged, and ineffective.
So what can you do to keep things fresh, both for yourself and for your team? Below are three ideas:
- Change your office layout about every three months. Sure, this entails a bit of work on your part. But even a simple reshuffling of desks and workspaces can make coming to work feel new and exciting again. Consider bringing in plants, hanging new pictures on the wall, and other aesthetic changes as well.
- Start your weekly meetings by playing a game. Most businesses hold meetings on a weekly basis, if not more frequently and they can be quite boring. Spice the meetings up a bit by making the content a game-worth-playing. Can you or a fellow team member bring life to the problem with real life human stories? Could you make a team challenge to solve problems? Perhaps you could get out of the meeting room and go out into the company environment or possible even visit a customer site to discuss an important issue?
- Keep your team challenged. When you can see that an employee has mastered his or her job, give them a new challenge. This can be a new responsibility or a special one-time project. The idea is to keep your team on their toes and to keep them from growing complacent.
Monotony is a very real problem for small businesses – both for the owner, and for the team. These ideas will help you keep things fresh on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis… but by no means is this an exhaustive list. Be creative and never stop looking for new ways to keep things fresh at your workplace!
What are some of the ways you keep your business from becoming a monotonous? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!