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Ten Things You Might Not Think to Delegate But Should

Just about everyone suffers from a lack of time to do all the things they want, or even need, to do in their business.  One of the solutions to freeing up your time is to delegate.  The question is, what are the most effective tasks to delegate?  Here are ten ideas for you to consider (or reconsider) to free up your valuable time for more important things.

1. Social media.

We didn’t even have social media ten years ago, but now that we do, it can be a major investment in time.  Some companies ignore it completely, not wanting to open that can of worms, but done well, social media can have a great payback.

Rather than ignore it or take up your important time, turn it over to an intern or recent college grad who probably knows more about it anyway!

2. Grocery shopping.

You might think this is only for rich people, but it’s simply not true and very cost-effective.

Grocery shopping is a personal task, but time doesn’t distinguish between work and personal; it keeps marching on.  Set up a grocery list and find someone who wants to work part-time (your housekeeper might know someone).  You’ll be able to free up several hours per week, plus you’ll likely be helping someone who needs the money.

The money you pay to your shopper is not a business expense.  Instead, they may be a Schedule H employee, so you’ll need to keep your books separate or alert your accountant.  Also check on any liability issues with your insurance company if they will be driving on your behalf.

Once you get past a few small setup hassles, you’ll love this.

3. Your email.

How much of your email could be handled by one of your employees?  Set up separate emails by function and not by people so that your employees can take over more of this ever-growing task.  Anything that you respond to the same way over and over again can be drafted in a procedure.   Employees or a virtual administrative assistant can be trained on what to send to whom.

4. Training employees.

Once you get one employee trained, that employee may be able to train additional hires, freeing you up from having to do so.  Well-written procedures will go a long way to reduce training time, and even writing procedures can be delegated to the right person.

5. Vendor research and purchase.

Need to find a hotel to host an event?  Or a webinar company?  Or a project management system?  All of these items require research to find good vendors, and as business owners, we may tend to do this ourselves when we can write up a few guidelines and give the task to a capable employee who would enjoy researching the topic and writing up some options for you to review.

6. Hiring.

Hiring can be one of the most time-consuming tasks of all.  I’m definitely not suggesting delegating the final decision on hiring, just the search process.  I’ve heard of business owners who delayed hiring because they froze at the sight of a 6-inch tall stack of resumes they had to go through.

It might pay to hire an agency to do the screening for you so that you are presented with only the finalists.

7. Bookkeeping.

Bookkeeping is also one of those time-consuming tasks, with two added challenges:  everywhere you turn, there are deadlines and regulations, plus it requires special skills that need updating frequently.  All of this screams to be delegated when possible.

8. Sales.

When you first start your business, you are generally the only one selling.  To get it off the ground, you eventually need a team of people to help you sell your goods and services.  As your sales team gets better and better, you can delegate larger and larger sales opportunities to them.  Who knows, if you’re not natural at sales, you may have employees who are better at this than you.

9. Writing.

Writing can be extremely time-consuming for some people.  Great writing requires a long learning curve, so if writing is not a core skill for you, you may want to look around for someone you can delegate or outsource this task to.  This includes things like writing procedures, web sites, job descriptions, marketing copy, proposals, and even something as small as thank you notes.

10. Calendar scheduling.

All that back and forth phone tag, email tag, postponements, cancellations, and other scheduling challenges can be delegated to free you up for making even more appointments.

Your time is incredibly valuable, and the only way to make it more valuable is to accomplish increasingly valuable tasks that only you can do while delegating the tasks that other people can do.  As a general rule, anything that is not in your core skill set or core business is fair game for delegation.  If someone else can do it faster, then it’s fair game for delegation.

Think about what you’re spending a lot of time on (and possibly spinning your wheels at the same time).  This is a task that can possibly be delegated, so oyu can free up your time for more important things.

Are You in the Business of Pleasure?

You might not think you are in the business of pleasure, but we all are, to one degree or another.  If we don’t give our clients a great experience, they’re not likely to come back.  That’s why we can learn so much from the entertainment industry, even though we might not be in it directly.

Pleasing Clients

From the day a prospect calls you, emails you, or enters your shop, what do they see, hear, feel, taste, and smell?  Is it pleasant?

  •  In a movie theater, the smell of popcorn is tempting as you take your comfortable seat and watch previews, engaging you while you wait for the start of the movie.
  • In a spa, you are treated to snacks and drinks in a comfortable robe while you wait for your session.
  • In a restaurant, you are served drinks, music, and appetizers while you enjoy the company of your friends and family.

There’s no reason your customer experience couldn’t be as enjoyable, even if you are a dentist, a doctor, a lawyer, or a professional that’s associated with a somewhat unpleasant service.

Your Company Experience in Surround Sound

The first step you can take to enhancing your prospects’ or clients’ experiences is to map out all of the interaction points they have with you.  Your list could look like this:

  •  Website
  • Phone call
  • Office appointment
  • Email
  • Billing

Or this:

  •  Walk-in to store
  • Employee greeting and interaction
  • Sales at register
  • Charge on credit card statement
  • Thank you note

Make a chart like the one below for each touch point and fill in what you think your customer may experience with you at each point.  It’s perfectly OK to have some that won’t apply; I don’t know of any technology that will get your email to smell!

 

Touchpoint Sight Sound Touch Taste Smell
Walk-in to store Merchandise Loud rock music Fabrics Refreshments Lavender
Employee greeting Well-groomed employee wearing the sale item featured in your store Pleasant, not pushy Products Drinks are offered  
….          
Phone call Voice mail that is not initialized Automated voice N/A N/A N/A
Office appointment Lobby with awards and prospect kits rather than magazines Calming standards piped in Fabric of chairs Refreshments Cinnamon

 

As you review your chart, are there any areas in which you could improve?  The nice thing about charting it out is that it organizes it for you so that any weaknesses or strengths pop right out.  The ones highlighted in yellow could be improved!

Where you have touch points with limited sensory impact such as email, phone, and billing, it is important to make the most of the senses you do have access to since they will be amplified.

If you feel like you cannot be impartial or simply don’t know what your customer experiences, you can hire a mystery shopper to provide an objective report of your customer experience.

A Movie with Great Reviews

Your client already has a movie going on in their mind about what it will be like to do business with you.  Your job is to impress them with an experience they won’t forget, and you can do it in any situation, no matter what business you’re in.

Examples:

  •  Dentists:  One of the worst parts of going to the dentist is hearing the sound of the drill.  Pass out iPods and headphones with a choice of music styles to drown out the unpleasantness.
  •  Restaurant owners: If your customers have to wait for a table, hire a mime, clown, or performer that can keep them occupied and make the wait time go fast.
  •  Plumbers:  Leave behind a clean house and scented oils for the kitchens and bathrooms.
  •  Retail shop owners:  Heat up a pinch of cinnamon in your microwave to have the whole store smelling like an apple pie or some scent that coordinates with your merchandise.

If your clients call you by phone rather than see you in person, you can script a pleasant greeting for your employees to memorize.  For clients on hold, give them something memorable to listen to such as a poem, jokes, or unusual music.  Even with email, you can create a great signature line that appeals to your clients, and of course, craft a message full of gratitude and compliments.

When you can wrap an excellent experience around the products and services you sell to customers, your word-of-mouth will spread, saving you time and money.  Think of what will work in your industry, and give your ideas a try.

Life Beyond the Profit & Loss Statement – Do You Know Your Lifestyle Ratios?

Each month, you may anxiously await the reports that provide the numbers that help you manage your business.  Revenue, net income, total expenses, and payroll costs are just a few of the items that you may be monitoring on your profit and loss statement.  Those numbers will help you meet and improve your business goals, but the question is, what numbers are you using to determine if you are meeting your life goals?

It might be fun to come up with a few lifestyle ratios to help you measure and move toward your personal goals.  Here are a few for your consideration:

Passive vs. Active Income

If you’d like to work less as time goes by, then you’ll want to create your passive vs. active income ratio.  Make a list of all of your sources of income (not just business) in a spreadsheet.  You might have interest income, rental income, and investment income along with your business income or salary.

Then write down how many hours you spend working to earn each type of income.  For interest income, it is likely to be very little.  Investment income will only include the time you take selecting your investments and managing your portfolio. If you are active in your business, this will be the lion’s share.

Income is passive if you spend almost no time earning it.  Income is active if you spend time earning it.  (These definitions correlate to your time spent, not the IRS definitions.) Put the income in the appropriate column, passive or active.  You can allocate if necessary.

In the example below, this person is well on their way to retiring.  They also might question why they are spending so many hours working so hard for a fraction of their monthly income!

Income Monthly Hours Passive Active
Interest Income $5,000 0 $5,000
Rental Income $6,000 2 $6,000
Investment Income $20,000 1 $20,000
Business Income $10,000 167 $10,000
Totals $41,000 170 $31,000 $10,000
Passive/Active ratio 76% 24%

 

The “aha” comes when you see the numbers.  The numbers often drive people to action.  You might decide to be more intentional about moving your income to passive sources so you can do the things you want to do.

Leveraged vs. Unleveraged Revenue

Leveraging your business revenue is a way to work less while making more money.

Measuring leverage is business-specific.  Examples of revenue that are not leveraged include seeing clients one at a time and selling hours-for-dollars services without a staff.  Revenues that are partially leveraged include group programs such as classes and events like webinars and conferences as well as hourly consulting that your staff performs with your limited oversight.  And revenue that is fully leveraged includes product sales.  Once the product is developed, it takes little incremental time to sell (unless you’re in retail).

Here’s an example, assuming this business owner has a staff of five people.  Both hourly consulting and training classes are partially leveraged because the business owner spends time teaching, consulting, and supervising.

Revenue Leveraged Unleveraged
Book sales $500,000 $500,000
Hourly consulting $3,000,000 $2,500,000 $500,000
Training classes $2,500,000 $1,500,000 $1,000,000
Total $6,000,000 $4,500,000 $1,500,000
Ratio 75% 25%

 

If your revenue streams are flexible, you can work on moving more of your business income over to the leveraged side.  To create more leverage in the example business, the owner could sell or develop more products, hire another teacher, hire an additional consultant, and/or hire someone to review the consulting work of the employees.

Days Off vs. Days Worked

This ratio measures how much time we are able to spend away from the office.  It’s simple to compute, and you can estimate it if you don’t track your time.

Assuming a 5-day work week, there are about 250 working days in a year, not including about 10 holidays.  Estimate the numbers of days you were off, and divide by 250.  For example, if you took 5 1-week vacations from work last year, that would be 25 days, resulting in 10%.  This assumes you worked the rest of the year.

Your Lifestyle Goals

What’s on your “bucket list?” (This is a list of things you want to do in your lifetime before you die.)  Figure out the metric that will get you thinking about doing your dreams sooner rather than later.

You can have fun with metrics and ratios in and out of your business.  Here are some more ideas to think about:

  • The number of customers you have that really fit your ideal client and how many more you need to go.
  • How many countries (or states) you want to visit each year vs. how many you’ve already visited.
  • How many volunteer hours or dollars you spend vs. how much more you like to.

When you put your goals into numbers and on paper, they seem more real and achievable.  You can get an “aha” just by computing these ratios.  Hopefully, life beyond the profit and loss statement will get you closer to your dream life.

Are You Fully Supported in Your Business?

Whether we run a large company with dozens of employees or run our own solo business, we rely on a support team of vendors, customers, employees, contractors, and other associates that help us carry out our business goals.  Here’s a fun exercise to discover the strengths and weaknesses of your business support team and how you can increase and strengthen the support you have.

Take out a blank sheet of paper, and draw a small circle in the middle.  Write your name in the circle.  This represents you.

Draw a little larger circle next to your circle.  Write your employees’ names and major functions in this circle.  Draw a similar circle for contractors’ names and functions.   If you have partners and/or affiliates, include them in a big circle.

Draw a small circle for your five largest clients, and write their names in the circles.  Draw another small circle for your five largest vendors, and write their names in the circles.

Draw one more circle for your business mentors and coaches, and write their names inside the circle.  If you have any more major groups related to your business, draw them now.

These circles represent your business and all of the people you rely on to get your job done.

Now, think about what groups you belong to that relate indirectly to your business.  It could be a professional association, a licensing agency, or a networking group.   Make large circles for each of the groups you feel connected to, and write some of the key names you know that are part of each of the groups.

Add a few more circles in the same way if you have more business associates to list or other groups that you didn’t add above.  If you want to, you can also include your personal support team:  the nanny, cook, gardener, esthetician, wardrobe consultant, makeup artist, nail artist, hair stylist, nutritionist, personal workout trainer, butler, chauffeur, masseuse, travel agent, and water boy.  Okay, maybe listing the water boy is getting a little carried away.

The sheet should now represent all of the important people in your business that support you in one way or another.  It’s a lot, isn’t it?

Now is where the aha’s come in:

  •  Take a look at your to do list and see if there are holes in your team that you need to fill.  Are there job openings or are you ready to bring in more support?  Mark the openings or potential openings with a yellow highlighter.
  •  With a green highlighter, mark the people who are most positive and supportive to you.  You may want to let them know how much you appreciate them if it’s been a while.
  •  With a red highlighter, mark anyone who is costing you more than supporting you.  It may be time for a change in team members.
  •  With a purple highlighter, list the five people you most look up to and can count on for great advice.  These people should either have expert advice or be ahead of you in business.

We’ll stop here, but you can continue selecting colors to evaluate the relationship of the people in your circles.

When you take a look at your social circles, what do you notice?

  •  Where are you fully supported?
  • Where could you use more help?
  • Where do you need to make some replacements?
  • What else do you notice about your business network?

Make a list of action items you can do to strengthen your business support network.

This is a great exercise to allow you to consciously evaluate and improve the ever-important support system in your business.  When you have a great team, you can accomplish so much!

Twelve Low-Cost Employee Perks for Fun & High Performance

It’s always a good idea to help employees stay motivated, and there are many things you can do besides the traditional cash bonus.  Here are twelve ideas that cost little yet go a long way with employees, contractors, and other business associates.

1.     Compressed workweek. 

Employees love getting Friday afternoon off, or even a full day a week.  Providing weekday time off cuts absenteeism since the employee has a window to run errands that need to be done during business hours.

 2.     Social activities. 

Create social events that become a tradition in your company.  The employees will look forward to them.  If you’re not sure what to do, consider the hobbies of your employees, plan an event based on a holiday or anniversary, or simply have a meal out.

A business owner who offers training classes can have movie showings in their training rooms complete with popcorn on Wednesday evenings.  The cost of the movie and popcorn is minimal compared to the fun everyone will have.

3.     Telecommute part-time. 

If possible, consider allowing employees to work from home one day a week.  They love the flexibility, often get more done without constant interruptions, and save road time.

4.     Customized recognition.

Every employee likes to be recognized for a job well done, but each may differ in exactly how the recognition is expressed.  Instead of guessing, ask at the time the employee is onboarded whether they prefer gift certificates, time off, sports event tickets, cash, or public recognition.

5.     Bring a child to work.

Last-minute emergencies can come up regarding child care, and the question is whether the employer can help out.  Create a policy around when employees can bring little ones to work.  You might also want to have a list of childcare and/or eldercare referral services handy.

6.     Education. 

Education is always a great perk.  Here are some ideas along those lines:

  • Cross-train employees on job duties other employees do so you have a deeper bench of knowledge to pull from.
  • Consider reimbursing for professional memberships or allowing employees to attend professional association events.
  • Bring in an instructor who can teach self-defense.
  • Have on-site fitness yoga classes.
  • Encourage employees whose first language is not English to take English as a second language or accent reduction classes.
  • Send employees to learn a foreign language.
  • Bring in a teacher for CPR and first aid training.

7.     Stress reduction.

Who isn’t stressed out?  Treat employees to a massage, or bring in an instructor who can teach stress-reduction techniques like meditation.

8.     Casual dress.

On days with no client appointments or perhaps every Friday, offer a casual dress day.  It cuts down on dry cleaning, and employees are more relaxed.

9.     Errand concierge services.

Cut down on absenteeism and long lunch hours by bringing the errands to the employees.  I suspect local businesses would love the business.  Find a nearby dry cleaner that can pick up onsite and maybe even throw in a discount.  Do the same for car wash services, take-home meals from a caterer or local restaurant, prescription refills, postal services, banking, and more.

10.   Transportation.

Offer a subsidy for carpooling, public transit subsidy, or purchasing a hybrid car.

 11.  Discounts on products and services. 

Provide discounts on your services or merchandise for employees.

12.   Time off. 

Offer a creative twist to holiday pay.  Instead of the standard holidays, allow employees to have their birthday or job anniversary as paid time off.  Consider also providing pay while philanthropic employees volunteer their time and talents to nonprofits.

Try one or more of these twelve employee perks to rev up the motivation on your team.

Cutting Expenses Key To Profitability, But How? Some Tips

It may seem like a no-brainer – cut expenses to make more money – but many small changes can result in significant savings.

It looks like the economy may finally be looking up. Still, this is no time to loosen the purse strings in terms of your business expenses. Rather, why not re-double your efforts to cut costs and boost your profitability?

Excessive expenses cause debt, which in itself can be very costly. So any money-saving actions you take will be doubly rewarding.

 More Effective Money Management

 To cut expenses significantly, poke into every corner of your company’s finances. Inventory is a good place to start. If you sell multiple units of the same item and reorder regularly, you should be using QuickBooks’ inventory-tracking tools. Go to Edit | Preferences | Items & Inventory | Company Preferences.

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 Figure 1; Make sure that these settings are correct. If you need advanced features like FIFO costing, serial number and lot-tracking or inventory management at multiple locations, contact us about upgrading to Enterprise Solutions.

 

You should be stocking your inventory to match the pace of sales. You don’t want to be caught short, nor do you want to be sitting on too much and tying up money unnecessarily. QuickBooks can help, but you’ll need to calculate the sweet spot for each item. Several built-in reports can help, including:

  •  Inventory Valuation Summary. Displays the current asset and retail value of each item and inventory as a whole
  • Inventory Valuation Detail. Shows how individual transactions have affected the value of your inventory
  • Inventory Stock Status By Item. Helps you set up smart reordering procedures
  • Open Purchase Orders
  • Outlines each purchase order and its expected delivery date

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Figure 2: To maintain profitable inventory levels and minimize expenses, you’ll need to study QuickBooks’ related reports regularly. When you’re making buying decisions, consider factors like reorder turnaround time and seasonal sales upticks.

 

Ratio reports, like profit over sales, can also be very telling. QuickBooks does not supply these, but we can help you create them in Excel.

Using Available Tools

The efforts you make toward reducing expenses in other ways can result in more savings than you might think. Here are some actions you can take that will accelerate your cash flow:

Use QuickBooks’ budgeting tools

. This doesn’t need to be as onerous as you might expect – you can start by pulling in your real data from the previous year as a base. Build in line items for ongoing accounting support like QuickBooks maintenance. Click on Company | Planning & Budgeting | Set Up Budgets

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Figure 3: Selecting this option simplifies your task.

 

Minimize your April 15 obligation with year-round tax planning. Work with us throughout the year on the next year’s taxes to, for example, make smarter quarterly payments, and we’ll help you reduce your tax bill by making better decisions every day.

 Get discounts by paying invoices early. Set up a custom field in vendor records to track this.

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 Figure 4: Get to know which vendors offer early discounts – and take advantage of them.

 

Analyze the cost-effectiveness of your transportation. Can you replace some in-person sales calls with web-based communication? Make sure that your delivery routes and sales call paths are efficient.

Change product/service prices to build in your own cost increases. Do it across the board, in small increments. It may not even be that noticeable to customers.

Talk to us about establishing a line of credit. We’ll help you determine if this is a viable option for emergencies. It’s cheaper than using credit cards.

Cross-train employees. Have employees train each other on their tasks where it makes sense. You can avoid costly temp help and relieve overworked departments.

 Don’t try to change everything at once. Establishing these new procedures will require some extra work. And you may not notice a reduction in expenses immediately. But over time, you will see a positive change – one that will give you extra dollars and hours to invest in making your company flourish.

The Power of Permission

What have you been wanting to do in your business for a really long time?  Perhaps you’ve been wanting to raise your prices.  Maybe you want to hire an assistant or another team member but haven’t gotten around to it.  Or maybe you want to work less and focus on personal time, but you haven’t taken action for one reason or another.

Ask yourself what project you’ve been thinking about forever but haven’t taken action on.  We all have a wish list.  The question is, why are we waiting?

What causes us to put these important, yet inconvenient or uncomfortable items on the back burner?  In many cases, there’s a really simple answer.  Here are three questions you can ask yourself if you would like to get unstuck and move forward with your list of items.

  1.  What’s it costing me to delay this decision?  In six months, will I be better off or worse off having done nothing?  This helps you bring a sense of urgency to an item.
  2. Do I simply need to give myself permission?  It’s surprising how this simple revelation can create the shift you need to gain momentum.  Going deeper, this can be a deservability issue, i.e., do I deserve to charge a higher fee?  If that’s the case, working on your confidence is something that will help you get unstuck.
  3. Am I getting stuck because I don’t feel like I have the skills, or is it possibly a mindset issue?  Making the distinction between the need to build skills and the need to work on your mindset can help you determine the next logical step to take.  Often, however, it can be both, and in that case, start by parsing out the skills you feel like you need.  When you do that, often the mindset will take care of itself.

By habit, we wait for other people’s approvals since we’ve done this all our lives.  We’re used to getting the approvals of teachers, parents, professors, bosses, spouses, and relatives, but when we’re in business for ourselves, we don’t need to ask anyone!

Is there something you’ve been delaying that you need to give yourself permission for?

  •  Giving your business or yourself a long-wanted gift?
  • Starting a long-awaited project?
  • Hiring someone or making a staffing change?
  • Launching a new product?
  • Raising prices?
  • Making a purchase?
  • Working less?
  • Taking your business to the next level?

If there is, ask yourself what you’re waiting for.  The power of permission might just set you free.

Do You Know the Lifetime Value of Your Client?

How much is the average client worth to your business?  Not just per project or even per year, but for the lifetime of your business.  Calculating the lifetime value of a client is an eye-opening exercise I recommend to every small business owner.

Repeat business

Let’s take several examples.  A client who eats a $15 lunch at your restaurant every Monday is worth $780 for one year and $2,340 for three years.  It really adds up, doesn’t it?

A personal services business, such as a chiropractor, massage therapist, manicurist, or hair stylist has a similar business model where hopefully they can attract repeat clients.  A client who gets a $20 manicure once every two weeks is worth $520 per year and $2,600 in five years, and that does not include the tips.  Grocery stores, hardware stores, clothing stores, and office supply stores are just a few industries with similar models.

Large purchase with add-ons

Some businesses rely on a larger but less frequent purchase than some of the industries listed above.  This may include furniture stores, airlines, and computer sales.  Many of these larger purchases can be increased by adding service contracts, delivery charges, financing charges, and by selling more items.

Some businesses will benefit from becoming aware of the lifetime value of their vendors, partners, and employees.  For example, contractors are often reliant on their subcontractors to deliver great services so they can complete the construction projects.  Landscaping firms make great partners with nurseries and bring them much business.  And employees who sell and close large contracts can have a lifetime value to your business of millions in some cases.

Referrals

One way all businesses can increase the lifetime value of a customer is by counting the amount of referrals the customer sends you.  Let’s say Marni bought $500 and was so impressed with you that she sent three clients your way.  They each bought $1,000.  Marni is now worth seven times what she originally purchased from you:  $3,500.  When each of these new clients refer more people and buy more in subsequent years, Marni’s value to your business gets bigger.

This might just have you treating your clients like Marni with a lot more respect!

Multiple service lines

The more products and services you offer, the greater your opportunities for increasing the lifetime value of your customers.   Let’s say Katie buys a $500 product from you in January.  In May, she comes back and wants the $2000 service you talked about in a newsletter you sent her.  She’s so happy she refers two clients to you that buy $1,000 apiece.  What can start out as a $500 client has now morphed into a $4,500 client and can easily mushroom into a five-figure client by the end of the year.  I’m sure it’s happened to you over and over again.

Take some time next week to create a spreadsheet that shows you the lifetime value of your clients.    I’ll think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how valuable your current clients really are.  If you need help with the calculations, let us know.  We’re here to help.

Are You Working on All the Wrong Things?

Have you ever gone through your list of things to do and looked for the easiest thing to knock out first?  Have you ever been moody when you’ve looked through your tasks and said to yourself, “I don’t feel like doing that one, that one, or that one?”  Do you have some items on your to do list that have been there for a while (like months)?

If so, you’re not alone.  However, you may be working on all the wrong things.  One of the top time management secrets that smart business owners implement is to prioritize their tasks in a very special way:  by the highest payback, and not the biggest sense of urgency.

The hard truth is we may not be able to get to every single thing we want to do, especially those of us who are creative business owners who have an idea every minute!  You may have a lot of them captured on your to do list, and some may still be swimming around in your head.

One of the ways that you can choose your opportunities and slim down that ever-growing to do list is to understand the concept of return on investment.   For each task, how much money could it bring you if you did it?  Some of the items that are not urgent but incredibly profitable are often the items we’re too exhausted to do once we complete all the required client and compliance work we need to do.

The successful business owner will make time for those profitable but not urgent activities.  In fact, they will do them first thing in the morning before checking their email or returning calls.

Here’s an exercise to try on your own to-do list.  Assign a dollar value to each task on your list in terms of revenue potential or cost savings.  If you got to that task, how much could it save you or make you?

Then the fun starts.  Sort your to-do list by this new dollar value column you just added.  Sort the highest payback tasks to the top and the lowest payback tasks on bottom.

What’s jumping out at you on the top of your list that you’re not getting to?  Can you find a time on your calendar to do it this week?

When we step back, become more proactive about insisting that we get a return on our time for what we’re doing, we can make a really huge difference in our bottom line.  It’s as simple as assigning some values to the tasks on our to-do list, and then re-sorting them by that value.

However you identify them, the goal is to bring to our attention our highest potential revenue opportunities so we can act on them.   Even if you only get to one more per week than you are currently doing, you’ve made wonderful progress.

It may take some discipline to resist tackling the urgent tasks.  When we accomplish our urgent tasks, we feel needed.  We love rushing to the rescue of clients that need us. When we attempt our high-dollar tasks, it may be a little uncomfortable, even scary.  So that’s why we avoid them.

Prioritizing is something we all have to do, since we live in a world that competes for our limited time.  Prioritizing by highest dollar return on investment is something the most successful business owners do, even if it feels a little uncomfortable in the process.

When we do the serious work of choosing what is really going to move our business forward, we will see the changes in our revenue.  If we can help you with any of your high-payback tasks, let us know.

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CFO and controller services for small and mid-sized businesses in Naples, FL as well as throughout the U.S.

www.tieroneservices.net

844-884-3766 | david@tieroneservices.net

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