By Louie Beaupre, Intelligent Office

Scalability and flexibility are continuing to be lauded as crucial to the success of businesses of all sizes today. Juggling the balance of making the right moves at the right time with avoiding costly mistakes is an important skill that business owners should increasingly be looking to embrace.

The good news is that following a few simple rules can help you avoid them. We’re highlighting a few lessons learned from business owners, and how to make sure you’re focusing on the right things.

Don’t equate being busy with being productive
Many owners get wrapped up in tasks that keep them busy, but that often aren’t achieving goals that drive the business forward. Focus on the activities that are crucial to growth, like sales calls and product development. Track the amount of time typically spent on operational tasks and even emails, so that if needed, you can develop a plan for delegating these tasks, and if needed, hire someone to focus on them if needed, freeing up the time that is needed to be more productive.

Spend time building relationships
Business owners spend countless hours communicating with and serving clients, building a social presence, and otherwise marketing themselves, but it’s important also to prioritize the time needed to nurture relationships with people who can really help their business grow. Identifying who these people are and focusing on fostering those relationships translates into growth faster than many realize.

Know how to find and keep good employees
Good employees can be a business owners’ most valuable asset, and have the potential to make or break a company. That’s why it’s crucial to find the right person. When hiring, think not only about the role you need to fill, but the type of personality that will keep you focused and your business growing. Once you’ve found the right employee, keep them by implementing a system of rewarding their contributions.

Remember your short-term goals
Setting long-term goals and developing a plan to achieve them is critical for businesses. But make sure that you’re also spending enough time on shorter-term priorities like getting the next client and creating the cash flow that will pave the way for the longer term goals.

Implementing simple changes and remembering simple tactics like these to make sure you’re focusing your time and energy on the right things can help business owners keep their business thriving and ensure long-term success.

Louie Beaupre, executive vice president of marketing for Intelligent Office, is a seasoned franchise executive with extensive experience at every level of franchising. Having purchased the franchise rights to Great Harvest Bread Company in Longmont, Colorado, his business quickly became a top-performing unit in a chain of 200 locations. After profitably selling his franchise, Louie operated his own business providing franchise consulting services to numerous national companies including Express Professionals, Great Clips Hair Salons and BrightStar HealthCare to help them attain their sales and marketing objectives. Follow him at