Jurg Widmer Probst – How to keep things fresh as a small business owner


Let’s face it – every job can get have its dull moments. We’re sure that even Hollywood stuntmen and circus performers will have those days when they feel like they just want to get off the treadmill. Work can be hard and demanding sometimes.

But the fact is that as small business owners we are in a very privileged position. Why? Because when the work that we are doing is beginning to feel a little stale, we can actually do something about it. As the owners of our own companies, it is down to us to set the tone. While we will probably have a clear set of strategic goals (or at least we should have), how we actually achieve them is completely down to us. 

So, how do we go about making sure that we keep things fresh? Here are a few ideas.

New business

There can be few feelings as enjoyable for anyone running their own company than the arrival of new business. It is a great moment – when you know that you are going to be able to pay your teams (and maybe even yourself), for the foreseeable future. But how often do you actually dedicate your valuable time to pursuing new business? It can be incredibly easy (particularly for very small businesses and sole traders) to fall into the trap of only dealing with the work that is in front of them – and neglecting to build for the future. And this is a real missed opportunity – because not only is new business a boost for your finances, but it is also a great way to revitalise your passion for the job.

New partners

Partnership really is the bedrock of business. Whether you think of it in terms of the relationships you have with your small band of colleagues, with your suppliers, your business partners or even your customers, these connections are everything. So, when you are starting to feel that the daily routines of running your business are beginning to wear you down, it is well worth reviewing the quality of those relationships. The people you work and collaborate with can be a source of huge amounts of energy, creativity and motivation – and if they are not, then it may be time to say goodbye to them. Seek out people who make you want to succeed, and who drive you to achieve your goals.

New goals 

Those goals are a huge part of keeping things fresh as a new business owner. In this case, we’re not talking so much about those big, strategic overarching objectives you’ve set for the business. 

Rather, we’re thinking about those goals we all set ourselves and our teams on a daily basis – the ones that hopefully help us to deliver every day. So, be honest – where are you at with these goals? What is it about them that is starting to make you feel stale? Is there something that you can change about the way that you challenge yourself everyday that will give you a renewed energy for the task in hand?

New surroundings

Of course, one of the best things about running your own business is that you generally get to decide when, where and how you work. You might be running your company from home, a small office or even a shared co-working space – but our advice is just to try and mix things up a little from time to time. If you work in an office with lots of other people, then get out and spend some time working on your own if you can. Or, if you’re someone who generally works alone, then try and find a space where you can get a bit more human interaction.

Getting a change of scene from time to time is actually an incredibly important part of keeping things fresh as a small business owner – because it can be an opportunity to get a new perspective on all of the other points we’ve talked about here. 

Why? Because working in a different environment might be just the chance you’re looking for to network for new business, to create fresh partnerships, or to take the time out to think about the goals you have set yourself. 

Jurg Widmer Probst


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