The life of a small business owner can be busy and challenging, and at times chaotic. It can be easy to fall into a routine of getting too comfortable, staying the same, and never changing or improving. However, getting stuck in your comfort zone can stop you from seeing and taking new opportunities, and hinder your business growth. We have put together four actions that you can take in order to step out of your comfort zone this year and improve both yourself and your business:

1. Small and steady wins the race

Don’t throw yourself in the deep end by changing your entire routine in order to step out of your comfort zone. Start small. First of all, begin re-defining and visualising what success means to you and your business – write down goals and objectives, and then list actions that will help you achieve these. Next, write down the obstacles that you think you’ll face, and the fears you have about them. Turn each obstacle into a smaller action step that will help you to overcome and prevent your fears. Once you’ve taken action you can celebrate the wins, or work out things that didn’t work. Try and do something minor to start off with, it could be as simple as phoning a potential client or supplier. Yes it can be daunting, however you are opening yourself up to business opportunities that you would never have thought possible. Rather than pushing yourself to make ten cold calls, start small and set yourself a goal of making one call a day. Replace your feelings of fear with feelings of excitement and opportunity.

2. Dare to challenge yourself

As a small business owner, you must challenge yourself in order to grow. Whether it’s trying something you’ve never done before or something that’s never even been done in your industry, every small step out of your comfort zone will help you and your business to move forward. We live in a constantly evolving digital world and it is crucial to embrace technology and stay up to date with new systems and processes. Is it time for your business to update its computing and business software? Could you and your staff benefit from specialised digital training? To run a successful business, it is important to continually look at ways to improve your staff, systems and processes in order to stay on top of the game, even if it does mean stepping outside of your comfort zone.

3. Consider new forms of funding to unlock business growth

If cash flow issues are hindering your business growth and stopping new opportunities from happening, now might be a good time to consider a debtor finance solution as a way to fund your business. Debtor finance is a growing non-bank funding facility in which many SMEs are looking to improve their daily working capital. Debtor finance pays up to 80% of outstanding invoices within 24 hours, helping your business to free up tied up cash and grow your business more quickly.

4. Now press the repeat button

Now that you’ve defined the actions that you need to take in order to grow your business and create new opportunities, it is important that you regularly confront your fears and get in a regular habit of stepping out of your comfort zone. Over time, you will begin to train yourself to be comfortable with discomfort. Your comfort zone will be growing and you will be growing as well. Take time to reflect and look back to the first push from your comfort zone. You will finally see why being stuck there is not beneficial to you. Continue to step outside more and more, and you will be surprised at the success and growth you will achieve for you and your business.