How to Stay Focused as a Business Owner
You can download every founder checklist available and read every book on startup success, but until you’re in the thick of life as a business owner, it’s tough to really learn how to do things “right.”
While there is certainly lots of information available online about organizational strategies and focus as an entrepreneur, most of the information seems to answer the question of how to learn how to focus as opposed to teaching you what exactly you should be focusing on.
Checklists, email reminders and turning off notifications during business hours certainly helps. However, it’s not going to truly help you cultivate a strong sense of focus that’s sustainable for you and your business.
Wanna know the real key to staying focused as a business owner in this wild world? Make sure you have the right context for the data you collect. It allows you to focus on the important things and helps you avoid getting distracted by metrics and events that don’t really matter. Let’s dive into what that really means.
The Issues with Regular Tips for Focus
As mentioned, most articles about focus in a business context talk about small daily tips and tricks that help you organize your working day. Usually, this includes a laundry list of helpful apps that either remind you to get up and stretch every hour, help you organize your inbox, or are useful for setting reminders.
While these are all very helpful and crucial in organizing yourself as a business owner, they’re really only tools. You should absolutely learn how to properly store your assets in a shared drive or plan your social media campaigns ahead (hopefully, you’re not the one doing those specific tasks, however, as you’ve got more important things to worry about).
The point is that you can use tools and apps all you want, but you’re still not learning anything about what you should be focusing on with those tools.
So, you likely go on to search for more articles that talk about the importance of measuring business metrics. Great! Now you’re getting somewhere.
The Importance of the Right Business Data
Okay, so now you’ve hopefully gotten to the point where you understand that instead of simply using apps and software that help you stay focused as a business owner, you’ll need to actually cultivate a sense of where to direct that focus. Learning to do that requires that you understand which metrics matter for your growth. Because we work primarily with owners of apps, we work mostly in app stats. This includes a lot of measuring around installs, active users, etc.
While we acknowledge that these are all useful stats to measure, you should really only be focusing on one or two (okay, maybe three) stats at once. After all, it’s really only feasible to tackle issues surrounding that many stats at once given the size of most startup teams. So, in order to measure the right data, we suggest narrowing your focus to a few core goals at once.
Once you understand what your goals are, you can then select the right metrics to measure that will help you achieve that goal. Think of it like this…
If you go to the doctor with a broken leg, they’ll send you off to have an x-ray of it. They’re not going to run a breathing test or start drawing blood to test your cholesterol. They have a goal, which is to mend your broken leg, and they know exactly what information they need to fix it. Looking at other information and performing different tests, at least while you’re sitting in the ER with a broken leg, would only serve as a distraction from the immediate goal. Apply this same process to the health of your business.
To focus on the health of your business, it helps to address specific pain points so that you can measure specific data, the right data. Now, after you’re able to achieve that, success truly becomes about automation. Finding a solution that helps you take large volumes of data from various sources and not only aggregate it all but also break it down in a way that makes the analysis process much faster and easier.
How to Measure the Right Data
At this point, you’ve really gotten past the hard part, which is identifying what you need to be focusing on. Now it’s time to put all of that into practice and really hone your focus as a business owner. You’ve got the right goals and metrics in mind, but how do you measure them?
One of the biggest struggles we’ve seen while working with founders and young startup teams with apps is that their data exists across numerous platforms. And, it’s likely that each source of data reports the information slightly differently. This results in a lot of wasted time across different departments.
In order to measure the right data, you need a tool that helps you integrate that data. What you’ll need to do is introduce a clear plan for data integration, starting with identifying the platforms from which you’ll pull data. Then, you’ll need to find a solution that allows you to easily view only the metrics you need to be measuring and none of the ones that will be a distraction.
That brings us to our next point...
Make it a Habit: Use AppFit
We’ve spent quite a while telling you that you can’t rely on apps to help you stay focused just to bring you back around to an app recommendation, but just hear us out. Once you’ve learned the importance of measuring the right business metrics, especially if your product is an app, you’ll be able to direct your focus towards measuring the metrics that are able to really move the needle on your business growth.
The beauty of AppFit is that it not only makes it easy to view all of the right metrics in one place, it makes it easy for you and your entire team to make a habit out of checking these metrics. Head into weekly team meetings with a complete overview of what’s happened and changed over the past week and avoid wasting time on gathering the data, pulling it into one place, and catching everybody up to speed.
That is how you stay focused as a business owner. You give everybody the tools they need to do their work and then you measure the right metrics in a way that allows you to put it all into a context that matters. (and you do it all without wasting anybody’s time, especially yours). Do it and watch your business grow.
Get in touch to learn more about AppFit or to ask about how we can onboard you and your team.