Avoiding Information Overload as an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs are challenged daily, making one decision following another. With so much information and data available, it’s easy get bogged down and further complicate the decision-making process.
By Kevin Haaland
Entrepreneurs don’t have it easy. Between managing a team, streamlining business operations and staying on top of the latest trends and so much more, they have every day cut out for them. While knowledge is absolutely power, too much knowledge and information can be overwhelming and hard to manage, thus having an adverse effect and complicating a business.
While there is no “be all, end all” when it comes to managing information, there are a few tricks that can make it easier. Here are four tips on how to avoid information overload and compile a robust collection of information critical to elevating your franchise brand.
Filter out the bad
Plain and simple, continuous learning and acquiring new information is essential to business success. Not all information received is good information that will help your franchise grow and achieve its bottom line. Omission is the first step in the organizational system to efficiently store and manage information. Get rid of anything irrelevant or you’ll end up hoarding a useless pile of data, impossible to sort through. Apply this to the dreaded inbox of email as well. Automate your inbox to filter important emails as necessary so they’re easily accessible.
Organize and utilize the cloud
It’s impossible and unrealistic to keep all information and data in your head. As an entrepreneur, utilize spreadsheets and assign data into logical buckets to manage it. Sort relevant news articles, social media channels, etc. into an organized system and once the system is created, make sure you abide by it and use it religiously. These spreadsheets will serve as a central information host, allowing you to review information at any time and share it across your franchise system.
To take it a step further, organize information electronically and utilize the cloud to store it. By centralizing data, accessibility is guaranteed from any device; the entire team and franchise system can share the data to help manage the workload.
Delegate and keep your focus
Staying focused on the initial projects at hand can be difficult. It’s hard to let go and delegate various tasks that don’t necessarily require your time and attention. The same goes for handling data and information. Make sure you’re solely focusing on the information that directly benefits and correlates to the project you’re working on. If you spread yourself too thin, you’ll just be touching the surface of your projects, rather than diving deep in them for best results.
Delegate what you can to focus on working on the business, not in the business. As an entrepreneur, your focus should be on key metrics and what is important to your business and industry, such as the number of leads, cost per leads, lead to quote time, quote to close, etc.
Get the right tools
Nowadays entrepreneurs have it entirely easier than 20 years ago. Every day, a new tech-related tool is being released to help aid entrepreneurs in everything from day-to-day tasks to predictive analytics to streamlining business operations. In addition to a well thought out organizational system, take advantage of the countless amounts of tools available that make sense to you and will help systematize your business. Don’t rely on manual systems or a pen and paper; instead, use tools that will automate processes. For example, use dashboards for an aesthetically appealing look at data and leverage a CRM to track customer data and remind you of follow-ups, preferences, etc.
As an entrepreneur, your day is spent making one decision following another. With so much information and data available, it's easy to let this bog you down and complicate the decision-making process. By following the simple steps above you’ll be fresh on your way to entrepreneurial success and achieving your bottom line.
Kevin Haaland is CEO of the Better Software Company based in Ottawa, Canada. It offers a fully-integrated Franchise Operating System to help owners improve and simplify their entire business, using a cloud-based model. For more information, visit franchise.org/the-better-software-company-supplier.