Starting a small business is not easy. You have to turn something you’re passionate about into a source of income and then into something even bigger. It’s a risky, daring and exciting project, but you have to admit that the idea of working on your dreams rather than someone else’s is pretty appealing!

In some ways, it’s even harder to develop a business that’s already thriving. You have to take the next step, while preserving what you already have, preparing for the future, without forgetting today’s realities. While it is very easy to get caught up in the daily routine, it is much harder to get out of it.

When you run a small business, you’re bound to wear many hats. And there’s always a lot of work to do, new trends to watch out for, and so on. In short, you don’t have that much time to devote to your long-term strategy. You may even feel like you’re having trouble keeping up, or even not making any progress at all.

The right tools, talents and resources need to work together to ensure the sustainability of your business. You need to create the space you need to achieve your goal. You see this goal clearly, but you’re not there yet. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves.

It’s never a good time to invest in the roots of your business.

It’s a popular piece of advice that small business managers often hear, but it’s worth repeating: to take the next step, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of working only in your business, i.e. doing short-term tasks, focusing on your current customers or products, and worrying about the demands here and now.

Working on your business means getting your head out of the handlebars. You need to make investments or develop systems that won’t pay off immediately, but will lay the foundation for future growth. Sow the seeds and water the roots, if you want.

In a world in which we are overwhelmed and trying to catch up as best we can, that’s easier said than done. And that’s exactly why you need to get started as soon as possible. Taking time or investing in new tools and talent at this stage will go a long way to freeing up the space you need to work on your business.

Discover concrete ways to grow your business

How do you meet the needs of your business today, while understanding how things are changing to ensure your future success?

It is essential to identify the trends you are facing and how to turn them to your advantage. Your time is limited, but with the right investment, you can make the most of it. By exploiting trends such as teleworking or new work tools, you will be able to move faster (much faster than large companies).

Here are three useful investments to grow your business:

1.) Block time. Create a habit. Review your goals.

The way you spend your time says a lot about your intentions. Are you working hard enough to grow your business? It’s all about creating the space you need to focus on the important tasks.

Try to devote an hour each day to planning or thinking about the future, even if it means getting up early or staying late at first. You should block these periods of time in your calendar and leave them untouched, just like any other event. Think of it as an appointment with yourself.

2.) Offer flexibility to your employees

Teams have never worked so remotely and virtually as they do today. The future of work is increasingly based on skills, not on the workplace. The ‘gig economy’ (or task-based economy) and teleworking are trends that are shaking up our traditional perception of teams. This means that we all need to take a different approach to attracting new talent.

As the manager of a small business, this trend works in your favour. You can easily bring in freelancers or remote workers, who will quickly reach cruising speed, without having to hire for the long term. This allows you to spend more time on important projects and strategies, while benefiting from expertise in areas that are not your strengths.

3.) Enrich your toolbox

In order to use flexible employees, you need tools and systems that enable remote working and collaboration. Employees use efficient and stylishly designed tools on the devices of their choice on a daily basis in their personal lives. Of course, when they arrive at the office, their expectations and preferences don’t disappear.

The people you’ll be working with will need the right tools to work as a team and complete their tasks in a way that is compatible with their personal workflows. That’s why flexibility and integration, and interoperability of tools, are essential.

Focus on the future

When you started your business, you were probably thinking about expanding it. Adopting the right habits, adding new tools and using flexible employees are all ways to lay a solid foundation for future growth.

Managers of small businesses must remember that growth depends on what happens below the surface. The foundations you lay now will determine your future development. It will take a lot of time and hard work, but if you focus on the important things, it won’t take very long.