Mondays were made for small business owners. A "case of the Mondays" isn't even a concept to them. Instead, Mondays are opportunity. They are brimming with confidence that the coming week is going to be awesome. But as most small business owners can relate, it doesn't take long for Monday (and thus the week) to get crowded, disorganized and chaotic. That's where a Monday morning ritual can come in handy and help you do what needs to be done each and every week...
Monday Morning Starts on Sunday Night
You know that sliver of time on Sunday night when the weekend has finally shut down and you're starting to think on what the upcoming week holds? Take that time to start planning. Of course you want to use your judgment and be sensitive to how that impacts those who appreciate your free time, but in general, the less "on the clock" time you spend planning what needs to be done, the quicker you can get to it. Better yet, consider a mobile app that can help you capture tasks in real-time, as you think of them. From voice recorders to calendar apps to Evernote, there are plenty of options.
Prioritize in Tiers
When you run the show, everything that needs to get done can feel like a priority. That's why it can help to triage your week's tasks. One way to go about it is to create three categories: tasks that have a firm deadline, tasks that need to happen "this week" and tasks that can wait until next week. For example, if you need to fulfill a vendor's invoice that has a due date on, say, Wednesday, that goes into the first category. You simply have got to get it done because there might be a consequence (i.e., a late payment charge) if you don't. Conversely, if you've been considering getting new business cards but don't have to have them immediately, put a task like that in the third category. And if you have trouble figuring out which bucket a task should go into, don't flip flop endless. Confidently trust your immediate gut reaction.
This sounds nagging, but skipping breakfast deprives your brain of fuel—so eat something in the morning. It's science.
Check in on Your Books
Monday morning is a great time to take a look at your business' finances and set a baseline for the week. What invoices are outstanding? How's accounts payable looking? What bills or vendors need to be paid this week? How's this month's P&L shaping up compared to last month's? Since there's not a whole lot of data entry associated with getting a dashboard view of your accounting, mobile accounting apps can be super-useful. For example, in the Kashoo iPad accounting app, you can get all of the major financial reports you need in just a few taps. Having a firm grasp on where your business stands financially enables you to make confident decisions.
Review Last Week's Financial Transactions
This feels like it should be part of the previous suggestion, but the activity of reviewing the previous week's transactions deserves its own shout out. Why? Because reviewing exactly where your money is coming from and going to best done while transactions are relatively fresh in your head. There's nothing fun about trying to remember a transaction from, say, a month ago. Instead, take a few Monday morning minutes to review your business' financial activity. Your bank reconciliation will be glad you did.
See What the Web's Saying About You and Your Business
If your business has a digital component such as ecommerce or a blog or gets reviewed on sites like Yelp or Google, do a weekly search to see what's being said. Basically, we're talking about online reputation management. Say you own a restaurant. You should be checking Yelp and other review sites weekly not only to simply see what folks are saying but also to respond to feedback both good and bad.
Pro Tip: Set a Google News Alert for your name and/or your business' name. Better yet, set some for your competition so you can keep tabs on what they're up to as well.
Have your own Monday morning ritual? Share it in the comments...