June 17, 2024


The value of truth

8 productivity tips from business owners running multimillion-dollar companies

4 min read

There were 5.4 million new business applications in 2021, according to data from the US Census Bureau. While this is an increase from the year prior, the rate of new businesses isn’t slowing down in 2022in the first three months of this year, more than 1.26 million new business applications have been filed.

Whether you’re new to entrepreneurship or a seasoned founder, managing and boosting productivity can be an everlasting goal. Some founders opt for grounding morning routines while others dive right into work before they roll out of bed.

Whether they’re scaling a startup, battling supply chain disruptions, or finding fame on social media, eight business owners showed Insider how they structure their days for success.

In 2017, Megan Roup noticed a gap in boutique dance classes, so she launched The Sculpt Society to teach dancers and non-dancers alike in studio spaces across New York City.

She declined to share exact numbers with Insider, but said her company’s revenue grew 700% in 2020. Meanwhile, her weekly email newsletter has 110,000 subscribers and Roup has 265,000 followers on Instagram.

On days when her husband cares for their baby, Roup prioritizes her morning routine. The simple process of drinking water with lemon, ingesting multivitamins, making coffee, and having breakfast before the workday begins helps her feel grounded.

In June of 2020, Ria Graham opened Kokomo, a Brooklyn-based restaurant offering distinctive takes on Caribbean cuisines, like sweet plantain pancakes, shrimp flatbread, braised oxtail, and jerk chicken.

Kokomo had more than $1.9 million in gross sales by the end of 2020, according to documents reviewed by Insider. This year, the business has hit close to $4 million.

While Graham runs the business with her husband, she reviews company data while he works on-site. She’ll go through customer reviews and the point-of-sale system to glean how the business is running. For example, she’ll gauge whether certain drinks aren’t selling well or if a server is struggling.

Daniel Snow, 28, is the founder of two multimillion-dollar enterprises: the media organization RapTV and the marketing business The Snow Agency. Additionally, he runs creative studio Kindred, which produces branded photos, videos, and advertising content for clients.

Between 9:30 and 11 a.m., Snow doesn’t take any calls. He said the reason is to not allow interruptions. “This allows me the time needed to review in-depth materials from my various department heads that either require my final approval or edits to be made,” he said.

Angelys Balek, the founder of her eponymous swimsuit business, netted seven figures in sales last year as customers bought her colorful and printed bathing suits, according to documents provided to Insider. Celebrities like Halle Berry and Naomi Campbell have sported her swimsuits, which range between $180 and $500.

Making time for movement is a key factor in Balek’s productivity, she said. She typically starts her day by walking, swimming, or meeting her personal trainer for a high-intensity workout. “It makes my mind and body feel refreshed and rejuvenated,” she said.

Hope Dworaczyk Smith is the founder of the skincare lineMutha, which is on track to net $3 million in sales this year, she said. She balances motherhood and entrepreneurship by adhering to a schedule that includes time for herself.

“If I have time between meetings and the kids are in school, you can find me reading nonfiction books about leadership, business, and self-improvement,” she said.

Erifili Gounari has two jobs: She works full-time for Silicon Valley-based insurance company SafetyWing, and she’s the founder of The Z Link, which helps companies refine their appeal toward Gen Zers. The company is on track to net six figures by next year, according to documents verified by Insider.

Since she’s juggling two roles, Gounari often reviews whether she achieved the goals she set for herself the week prior. For example, she is working on targeting nomads and remote workerson social media while the work-from-home trend continues.

Dana Hasson has about 2.4 million followers on TikTok and 116,000 on Instagram, where she’s known for sharing baking tips and fashion and beauty content.

This month, she’s launched a line of cooking products that includes edible glitter and a baking kit. Both roles keep her busy, and while she’s tempted to work through the night, she listens to her body. Hasson will close her laptop and wind down by watching TV shows from Israel, where she grew up, and calling her parents each night.

Jamie King decided to take her side hustle full time in 2017, when her daughter’s medical bills started piling up. Now, she owns The Slay Coach, which teaches business owners how to market their own consulting programs and digital courses. To date, she’s generated more than $1 million in sales, which Insider verified with documentation.

To juggle her busy work schedule and her three kids, King writes out to do-lists to stay organized. She has a personal to-do list to keep track of her children, who are homeschooled, along with a list to manage her workload. What’s more, she ranks tasks by importance: three things that need to get done and two that would be nice to get done.

Dominic-Madori Davis contributed to this article.

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