Would you like to grow your business, too? Within the Networking groups to which I belong, this question has arisen more than once.
I myself have encountered this dilemma several times.
People of entrepreneurial spirit have that problem: we have a head full of ideas and we love to start new projects when we see that there is a good opportunity behind.
Time is not infinite, and opening many “fronts” in the end can cause us to be overwhelmed and nothing to end,but if you don’t invest time in growing your business, there will be a time when customers will stop coming.
That is, Marketing and Consolidation activities will make you increase your revenue and keep them stable over time, which will grow your business.
It won’t be your most urgent tasks, but if the mostimportant.
The biggest problem that arises when you want to look for space for these activities, is that you already have all the time covered in your agenda.
What’s the matter?
You’ve probably focused your business as self-employment, rather than as a company, and you’re taking care of tasks that don’t belong to you.
A self-employed is an employee who has become his own boss. That is, it has at least two jobs (although if you start to analyze it can be 4 or 5).
- He sells his time by the hour (and when he runs out he doesn’t earn anymore).
- It performs all the activities of the company, from difficult jobs, to simple administrative topics.
- It is present in all phases of every work, from commercial activity to collection management.
- If you get sick, your income is at risk. And also if you go on vacation.A businessman can go on vacation and not lose money. Because tasks don’t just depend on him and he has support people at all stages.
- It focuses on the tasks that feed your business new revenue: alliances, search for new opportunities, internal improvements, marketing strategies…
- It does not handle administrative tasks or that are not given well, for that it uses employees or suppliers by hours (managers, designers, computer, community managers…).
- It takes time each week to think that it is what needs to be improved in your business and to put your action plan into place.
- You have systematized the operation of your company so that it can continue to function if it is not there.
Then you’re a businessman.
If you really don’t want it to be 10 years and you’re exactly like now (that with 10 more years, you’ll be for less jogging!) it’s time to start thinking like an entrepreneur.
Because now you have the energy to work the hours that it takes, but you run the risk of “burning”,especially if your business hangs in the balance every time you take a few days off.
Or missing an opportunity, not being able to take advantage of it for lack of time.
If you invest in the structure of your business, that investment will return you well, and to achieve it the first step is to put your business on a diet.
The efficient business diet.
To invest time in getting new customers and growing your business, what you first have to do is free up space in your schedule.
We’re going to “put your business on a diet, and then we can fatten it up” on good things.
And like any diet, we’re going to make a plan for weeks
Week 1: Delete
Because the days are never going to be more than 24 hours, and because it’s better not to extend your schedule to the weekend if you want to lead a balanced life, let’s start by eliminating what’s left.
Answer these questions:
- What activities do you use to fill your time and look more productive?
- If for a personal topic, you could only work part-time, what are the 5 activities you would stop doing because they contribute virtually nothing to your business?
- Which clients or types of projects consume 80% of your time but give you less than 20% of your revenue?
Well, you already have your list of first things that you can remove from your calendar.
Now put a post-it as a reminder on your table that says “What I’m doing right now is to fill in time or because it’s something really important?” and keep reading 😉
Week 2: Systematizes
As much as you’ve eliminated, there are certain tasks you have no choice but to do.
A business will have two types of tasks that can be easily systematized:
- The management tasks of the company. They are repetitive tasks that are done every month, every quarter or every year and that any company does, whatever the sector.
- Production tasks. Your services are limited and that’s why you’ll find yourself selling the same service several times to different customers. If you systematize those tasks, you won’t start from scratching each project.
It’s your turn to respond again:
- What management tasks are repeated once after again that could be done automatically?
- For example: making invoices, backups, customer collection reminders, social media posting,…
- What are the different phases in the sale of your services? What could you systematize about each one?
- For example:
- First meeting to meet the customer
- Make an offer
- Making the contract
- Ask the customer for the basic information
Now that you have the list, think about what the outline of your way of working is and what tools can help you to do it: templates, schematics, some online application…
If you sense that it should be done automatically but don’t know how, ask someone who understands computer science so they can help you.
Week 3: Delegate
There will be tasks in your calendar that you can’t delete, you can’t automate… but honestly, if you don’t do them, nothing happens either!
Start by delegating management tasks: These are the tasks where you don’t add value. They may be easy to do, but they’ll take a lot of time away from you. Or you may find it too difficult to take yourself and you’d better send on-time jobs to a specialist. Here are some examples.
- Administrative tasks: Various management, document formats and document management. Find a management or hourly assistant that can help you.
- Computer Support: Computer support, web maintenance, social media analytics and blog, support in publications…
- Design Jobs: Creation of signage for your business, photo retouching, photo editing for web…
When you have this part under control you can even seek support in the execution of the jobs.
A collaborator can help you with the simplest jobs,or help you with the review or with the first drafts. Maybe it can help you with logistics, or with projects to improve your company.
You don’t need to have it on the staff, you can just work with it for hours or for one-off jobs.
And now he thinks:
- What tasks would you like to delegate because they take time away from you or are too complicated for you?
- Make a list of 3 profiles you’d like to have as collaborators and think about which people in your environment might be good at covering them.
Put yourself in your calendar one day to call them and meet them to see if they are interested.
If so, go through small tasks. First you have to make sure you’re a good way to work together. If so, you can delegate more to that person.
In addition, by releasing time little by little, you will be able to get more customers and outsource more tasks than “you shouldn’t be doing”.
- For example: