Time management is an extremely important piece of your business.
Any business owner who doesn’t manage their time properly will find that they either run out of time, they spend too long on certain tasks, they make less money than they want and they probably have fewer clients than they need.
A lot of people think the topic is boring – and maybe it is – but it’s necessary to analyze how you are spending your time to see if you can improve on it.
Everyone has the same amount of time in their schedule – and once it’s gone, it’s gone. So you want to use it wisely.
One of the first exercises I do with my clients when we start working together is to ask them how they spend their day.
You may be surprised to know that most business owners think they are managing their time very well. But they’re not.
The biggest problem in any business is relationship between TIME and MONEY.
In order to make the maximum amount of money you can in your business, you need to organize your time properly.
The second biggest problem in any business is the acquisition of clients and the service of clients – how you get clients, how you service them, how you keep them happy.
Are you seeing the pattern here?
If you don’t have enough clients or money, take a look at how you are spending your time.
Here is my system (that I really use every day!) for time management. I call it calendaring and clustering:
1. Identify your goals in your business. What is your long term goal? Mine is to the recognized as THE Canadian business coach, and to be a business leader in Canada by playing with bigger people and working with big clients.
2. Identify your revenue generating activities. What is making you money? Just because you are a solopreneur (there is actually no such thing!) that doesn’t mean you have to do everything in your business. In fact, it’s a bad idea to try. You don’t save money by doing it all yourself. Think about who you can hire to do the mundane things, the things that are not making you more money.
3. Now take a look at your calendar. How are you spending your time? No …. how are you REALLY spending your time? I have had clients tell me they spend ‘all day’ reaching out to people via email and phone calls. But when we really drill it down, they realize they have wasted the better part of their day and have only actually made a few phone calls and sent a few emails. What you perceive you need to really honestly assess for yourself.
4. Start to track your activity. How many calls *specifically* will you make … then how many *did* you make? This is the accountability that will help you grow your business. Be honest and map it out hour by hour – and dollar by dollar.
5. Take your calendar for the next six months. Cross off all of the days that you can not (or don’t want to) work … appointments, birthdays, holidays, weekends, all of it. This leaves you with your availability for when you CAN work.
6. Now start to block in times for the things you need to do (revenue generating, remember!) in your business: networking is the first thing to allow time for. Networking is enormous – it’s how you get known, get seen, get heard. It’s how you quickly build that know, like and trust with your potential clients. And it doesn’t happen sitting behind your computer, or by blogging, or through your website. Find some networking events and get those into your calendar. They must be your highest priority.
7. Finally look at the remaining days and block in time for client work, business building activities, and revenue generating activities.
Client work is the time you actually spend working with your clients.
Business building activities are things like learning, training, your own coaching, writing content, recording videos, and so on. These are things that help you build your business.
Revenue generating activities are things that are directly related to someone saying yes to working with you. So, sales calls should be number one. Then processing orders or following up on placed orders, follow up strategies, overseeing new client intake and those sorts of things.
When you are blocking things into your calendar, try to keep similar activities together. If you jump all over you will lose focus and mess up your head. You don’t want to squeeze client appointments and writing a blog post around a networking event that you are attending. Schedule things when you will have time to give them your full attention.
Now as you look over your calendar, go back to identifying your goals.
The key needs to be always bringing in clients. Does your strategy support that?
Bringing in clients means you bring in more money.
Bringing in more money means you are building that lifestyle that you want.
And isn’t that what we are all trying to do?
Let me know how the calendaring works for you! It’s an invaluable tool in my business. It helps me be more organized and it helps my team keep on top of things too!