As a business owner you face a huge challenge that you'll run into... wearing all the hats in the business. It’s hard to remember that you also wear the hat called “business owner”. Your job is to own and cultivate that business just like you would a child. Businesses are a lot like children and if you don’t work on raising your child, they can end up on the streets. If you aren’t working on your sales, you aren’t working on improving your process, you’re letting the business run you, not you run your business. Whether you’re a business owner trying to get out from under your business, or you’re a sales person that wants to spend more time with your family and less time making sales calls.
The things that end up getting pushed to the side is tracking your sales numbers, reviewing your numbers, understanding what they mean and figuring our what the new sales are and what is a new lead generation method while also figuring out what I could be implementing that’s going to make my life easier. We know that most businesses don’t make it past the tree year mark, and one of the reasons might be because business owners are very optimistic. This idea that “it’s going to work out”, and as they go on, they start with “this is the base year”, then the second year they don’t get the growth they expected, so by the third year they have less time, less money and more debt.
That’s when a business owner usually shuts down his/her business, because three years in they realize they actually don’t have a business. This happens because they don’t prioritize within their business. It is definitely a matter of setting priorities, like Jon Pyron said, set five goals and then five action steps and then schedule them. That’s been something very helpful for us along the way. One thing that also needs to be understood is that your business is not your life. We value ourselves based on the business. When we’re at that three year mark, when we’re at that point that the debt has overwhelmed us, we’re thinking about bankruptcy or we’re thinking about shutting the business down.
We have to find ways to scale down what is being done. We have to find things that other people can do for you. Paying somebody $10 an hour to do your filing for you when you could be going out and spending that same hour and getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in, where is your time really being spent? You have to be intentional about creating these systems. One of the big issues that a lot of people run into is that they don’t make time to work on the business from the get-go.
The first step to follow is to schedule time. I think that an hour a day needs to be devoted to business on your business. When you only invest 15 minutes you’re just getting started. If you’re going to just spend 15 minutes a day on working on your business, it’s not really going to make any difference. However, we have people out there and we have a lot of business owners who are not spending any time working on their business, you have to start somewhere.
What you should do as you’re working is that you begin by distinguishing tasks that would be better suited for someone with a lower skill level. Case in point, I run a Twitter chat named USA Biz Party. I love interacting with my guests, but what I don’t like doing is sending out emails. What I do in this case is delegate it to someone else. For this, you can create a simple instructional video where you can explain all this and that you can easily send out.
The reason I share this is because what you need to do is as your working through your day you need to decide what you’d like to get off your plate so that you can do the more revenue producing activities and then the next time you do it and make a not to yourself that you’re going to create a process in which you can teach someone else. You spend about 30 minutes creating a system that you can also duplicate.
As a business owner you have the advantage that you can take certain things off your plate, this can hyper accelerate your business. This can help you invest that time in other things that can help grow your business. For example, wrapping up work early and going to a conference. Working Monday thru Thursday and learning something new every Friday, new implementations, etc.
Think back, was your life easier or harder when you were a kid? It was easier, right? You think back and you might think “I wish I could go back to one of my biggest problems was whether or not I could have pudding for dinner”. Life gets harder the more you move forward. If you can’t make time to work on your business now, you’re not going to suddenly be a master of time management if you don’t make it happen now.
We make time for what matters to us. So if you’re not making time to work on your business, how much could your business actually mean to you?