By Prerna Malik

As someone who’s built two successful businesses while raising a family and managing a home, one of the questions I get asked most often is… “how do I build a successful business?”

My short answer: One step at a time.

The long-ish version:

1.      Find your ‘sticky spots’ and focus on them, one at a time

Unlike large businesses with long working hours and big budgets, most of us have small businesses that center around our need to be with our kids while creating an income source. So, our time and budget is limited.

That is why focus on one ‘sticky spot’ to tackle instead of diving into all of them, at the same time and getting completely overwhelmed.

Grab a pen and paper. Sit somewhere quiet and make a list of  all the sticky spots in your business right now that are holding it back from reaching its fullest potential.

  • Possible sticky spots could be:
  • A small email list
  • Lack of a strong or well-planned online and offline marketing strategy
  • Lack of sales due to lack of marketing strategy
  • Lack of followups
  • Email overwhelm
  • Customer service issues
  • Bookkeeping

Rank these in order of importance, break down everything that needs to be done to “un-stick-ify” them and then, start working on them, one step at a time.

2.      Devote time to building your business, one hour or day at a time.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so goes a famous saying. Similarly, overnight successes generally have hours and hours of toil and labor behind them. So, devote time to building your business.

Whether it is one hour every day or one day every week, set time aside to work “on” your business instead of simply “in” it. 

This is how you can tackle those pain areas that we’d identified in #1 above.

Break down everything that needs to be done to bridge the gap and build your business.

Remember, you have to work on it to make it work, one step at a time.

Take time out today to identify your sticky spots and set aside time to straighten them out. Review your progress a month later and you’ll be amazed at how much of an impact, the one-step-at-a-time approach makes.

When she isn’t socializing online, Prerna Malik and her husband work together at Social Media Direct offering gourmet content and community management solutions for time-starved business owners. She can also be found at The Mom Writes, sharing their life with their daughter, Manini, and simple ways for busy moms to do more with less.