I was going to speak at an association meeting not too long back.
As we drove to the event, I asked my host how the attendance looked and she shook her head in frustration. While they had promoted everything really well, many of the members would not be in attendance. They told her that they felt it more important to work on the quality of their work than to learn how to get more clients. I asked her how their businesses were doing, she replied, “not well”. Apparently they were “too busy” to come to an event that would help them with their business. Now in fairness, you may be saying, “Rick, maybe your marketing didn’t reach them”. That is fair- but in this case, I know for a fact that my marketing had reached them as they raved about having me come to speak in the first place.
Fact is, we are all busy, but are we busy with the right “stuff”. The over used idea of “working on our business vs. working in our business” many times applies; however, what is more concise and easier to focus on is this: Is what you are working on making you money directly? In other words, does the end result equal money in the bank or does it equal some necessary function of the business. I distinguish between the two as there are many functions of any business which are necessary, even crucial, but if we put the money making activities aside in place of the necessary minutia, our bottom line will suffer.
There are only two money making activities I will speak about; Marketing (bringing prospects to you) and Sales (Closing those prospects into Customers); everything else is an expense of your time and money. While those other activities in your business need to be done, my suggestion is to simply make them second place and low priority on your prime time of getting things done- they will still get done, but will not make the money making/bottom line building activities suffer.
When you focus on your marketing and sales as a priority and do these activities in front of all other business activities, this is what happens; your business will grow. The other items which have to be finished will get finished by default. To avoid, ignore, or simply delay the marketing and sales in your business will deny your business the financial gains you stand to get when you make these money making priorities the number one agenda item on your daily to do lists.
My recommendation is that you spend 2-3 hours daily in marketing and 1-2 hours daily in selling. These time blocks should be arranged to when it is most effective for better results. For example, if you need to go out and do some vendor visits, perhaps doing those in the morning will be best received by those vendors as opposed to simply going whenever you want. In Selling, the best time is when your prospect wants to meet with you.
In preparing for 2014, here is a fun task; go and create a weekly calendar for each week of the year. This is a standard calendar Sunday- Saturday. I would put on there the best 3 hours of each day to market, mix it up a little by putting 5 hours on 1 day of the week, and 1 hour one other day. Block the times that you typically meet with prospects (if you do not get an appointment, promise yourself that you will be pro-active in reaching out to get more appointments during that time. I would assume that most of your Saturdays are blocked off for work and perhaps your Sundays are your family day.
By finding the time, you make priority for the necessities of your business. These necessities will help you to not just survive, but to thrive.