If there's one major mistake that far too many new business owners tend to make it's that they lack focus. Running a business involves keeping a lot of plates spinning all at once. However, any plate spinner will tell you that trying to focus on all of them at once is a recipe for disaster. Instead, you need to be able to prioritize which things need more attention than others. Some plates are just going to keep spinning on their own without any trouble whereas others are going to need more frequent care and attention. When you try to pay attention to every single part of your business all at once, then you're going to find yourself stretched far too thin. When this happens, you'll not only end up feeling exhausted, but you're also much more likely to miss something or make a mistake and could have easily been avoided. But to know exactly where you should be putting most of your energy, you need to be aware of what your business's priorities are. Otherwise, you're going to end up wasting a huge amount of energy in the wrong places. With that in mind, here is some advice for figuring out your business's priorities and working on them in order to create the best and most effective business possible.

Think about your goals   

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If you want to be able to carefully prioritize certain elements of your business, then you've got to be aware of the reason for doing so. What are the overall goals for your business? Every business is different and is aiming for different things. This is going to have a big impact on the kinds of things that you consider to be important. Are you trying to bring a particular product to an, as of yet, untapped market? Then you're going to want to focus on the branding and marketing of your product since you're faced with the challenge of converting people who might not be that interested into potential customers. Is the purpose of your business to provide higher quality manufacturing than is currently available? Then you're going to want to think about

things like materials and manufacturing methods. The goals of your business should constantly feed back into your day to day priorities.

What does your business need?

Once you know what you're aiming for, and have an idea of where you should be placing the majority of your attention, think about the needs of your business. If you're focusing on something like marketing, then you're going to either need a team to focus on that or to hire a freelance organization to take care of it for you. Of course, if it's something like manufacturing that you're focussing on then you need to think about your equipment. The last thing you want is to find that the manufacturing side of your business has ground to a halt because you're missing a TurboSocket set or a piece of large equipment has stopped working. Keeping your equipment well maintained and well stocked is incredibly important when it comes to making sure that the manufacturing side of your business actually works. Take some time to step back and really think about the needs of your company based on what it is that you consider to be most important. It's not always easy to see, but by looking at things from a purely analytical point of view, you're likely to get a decent sense of what the needs of your business really are.

Focus =/= neglect   

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Of course, the last thing that you want to do is to prioritize one thing so heavily that you end up ignoring other, important aspects of your business. This is a mistake that far too many new business owners make. They go from one extreme to the other, and their business inevitably suffers for it. Make sure that you're

always giving the right amount of attention to every part of your business. Some will require less hands-on care than others, but you shouldn't ever neglect any part of your business. If you do, you're going to end up with small problems growing over time and turning into some pretty serious issues for both you and your business. Planning is one of the best ways to prevent this from happening. Give yourself a clear plan of how you're going to be spending your time during any given day or week. That way you don't fall into the trap of trying to wing it and ending up focussing on one particular area to the detriment of just about every other part of your business.

Be flexible

One thing that you should never forget is this: priorities can change. Far too often business owners prioritize a certain part of their business but don't understand when it's the right time to step away and focus on something else. When that happens, you end up with one part of your business that is buffed to a mirror shine while others end up falling apart from a lack of care and attention. It's important to be able to see when something is working alright by itself. That way you know when you're in a position to shift your priorities to somewhere else. Being flexible and understanding that your business is probably going to have different priorities depending on what kind of situation it's currently in is an incredibly important skill. That's not to say it's an easy skill to learn. Being able to shift directions can often feel incredibly counterintuitive but, nonetheless, it's an incredibly important quality that any great business leader needs to have.

This advice might seem fairly simple but, as with just about anything, it's often much easier said than done. Keeping everything balanced and functioning in your business is a real challenge and it's important that you don't end up exhausting yourself. There's nothing wrong with needing help and support in order to keep everything working. Don't be afraid to lean on your employees for support or to hire freelancers to take care of specific parts of your business. That way you can be sure that things are taken care of without running yourself into the ground.