As the CEO of your company do you often feel like you are still stuck in the trenches, working IN your business instead of ON your business, and could use some time tips to help you move ahead?
Maybe you are posting your own social media posts, but not able to do it consistently, or they aren’t completely branded or speaking to your audience effectively.
Maybe you’ve wanted to start a podcast for what feels like forever, but you haven’t yet figured out how to get it going, or had the time. If you DO have a podcast, maybe you are still editing and publishing them yourself – time-consuming, right?
Maybe you write your own blogs, but because you don’t have time to fully optimize and SEO them and promote them consistently you feel you haven’t gotten a ton of traction on them.
It’s OK – it’s not your fault – we’ve all been there. As a solopreneur we all get to the point where we are wearing too many hats and doing too many things on the front lines, burning the candles at both ends, working late nights, and wondering when you have time to do the important stuff – like business development, sales, revenue-generating tasks, client retention to increase profits.
Here are 5 time tips, right now, that can help you get that time back and get out of the trenches.
Time Tips #1 Prioritize – It’s way to easy to get sucked into email and jump from task to task and get distracted by small things that come up in a day (believe me I am no different). Be REALLY aware of what is the absolute priority to focus on in your business that week, and break it down into the days of the week. What is SUPER important to increase profits, to your sales, to serving your clients, to growing your business. Before you dive into emails in the morning – work on THAT first. Put it on your calendar so that you are focused on THOSE things above all else.
Time Tips #2 Time Management – Yes, that dreaded inbox can suck the time out of a day so easily. But it’s also HOW you deal with those emails that can affect your time and productivity. Do NOT jump from task to task or just respond to emails as they pop up. First – schedule specific times in the day that you DO respond to emails. Second -handle the emails in batches.
Time Tip Example – I look at all the emails that pertain to ONE client and respond to those and do any tasks that relate to that one client all together in a lump of time. My brain is able to focus on that client’s voice, brand, projects without being distracted by another client or my own marketing. It allows me to get more done because I’m focused on THAT client. Then I feel accomplished when I’ve completed that BATCH of emails/tasks.
Third – respond to emails that are quick, first. Forward it to the person that it pertains to, answer the question, delete and move on. If it’s a small task that takes only 10 minutes – complete it, delete the email and move on. If it’s something that requires more time or something that you have to do ‘later’ – put it in your project management system as a task, include the email thread for reference and context, set a due date then work on it when you have scheduled that into your day or week.
Time Tips #3 Productivity – Use tools like Teamworks, or Basecamp that allow you to stay organized with your projects and tasks. It unclogs your inbox and your brain. You waste less time looking for information that pertains to a task and everything is in one spot, allowing you to be focused and more productive. Plus by setting a due date you have scheduled that project in your week – so you know what’s coming up and spend less time trying to figure out what needs to be done by when and how.
You can even use your calendar for tasks. I set appointments in my calendar in red – so I can easily see what’s coming up and what my week looks like so I can prioritize more effectively. I put any REALLY important tasks or projects in yellow, so that the important project is scheduled into my day. Use tools that are available to you to be more focused, prioritize and allow for more productivity.
Time Tips #4 Know your worth – What I mean by that is know what your time is worth, so that you can understand what is truly important for you to work on and what is not. Let’s calculate this together.
1 – What was your revenue last year (or your projected revenue for this year). Ex: Your projected revenue is $200,000
2 – Divide that the number of weeks you work. Ex: $200,000/ 50 = $4000
3 – Divide that number by the number of hours you typically work in a week. Ex: $4000 / 35 = $114
Your hourly worth would be approximately $114 using this example. I mean emotionally, it may feel like more – by all means, factor that in! At this point, think about how you are spending your day. Really take stock and write these things down. Is managing your receivables, declined orders, or updating a spreadsheet, or editing your podcast, or creating graphics for social media worth $114 an hour to you?
Often, it makes more financial sense to pay someone to do those tasks and focus your time on the real revenue generating tasks and work ON your business to foster more growth.
Time Tips #5 Outsource – Knowing your worth is a key factor in knowing when to outsource the things that you may be doing ‘in the trenches’. Outsourcing also allows you to get more done faster. It allows you to have an expert in podcast editing and production, for example, work on those tasks. They’ll get it done better and in less time and free you up. Outsourcing the right person or company allows you to tap into their knowledge and expertise. They can help you optimize what you are doing, and help you get more done in less time. You don’t have to worry about learning something new, about managing all those moving parts, about figuring it out, and being overwhelmed. It allows you to be consistent in your marketing efforts (if that is the area you are outsourcing) to attract more clients, while you can focus on your current clients, client retention, referrals, sales, business development and more.
Hopefully, these time tips will help you get out of the trenches, get more consistent with your social media, email marketing, content marketing and attract and acquire more customers, and grow your business faster. And if you would like more help with this – call us at Smooth Sailing Business Growth. We are your strategic partner to help you create a plan, publish, optimize, and promote your content so that you can go back to working ON your business.