One of the most challenging problems entrepreneurs and small business owners face is finding the time to work on their business, as well as in their business.
By that I mean, things like business planning, marketing and evaluating how you are going – all of which directly impact your growth and success.
It’s understandable when you run a one or two woman (or man) show that the important, but non-urgent stuff (think quadrant 2 for the Stephen Covey fans) gets left to the end of a very long list of TTDs (things to do).
“Putting first things first means organising and executing around your most important priorities. It is living and being driven by the principles you value most, not by the agendas and forces surrounding you.” – Stephen Covey
What happens when we don’t focus on the quadrant 2 things? Well, we aren’t being strategic. And when we aren’t strategic we spend a whole lot of time doing things that might not be growing our business, or attracting clients or customers, or making money.
In his book, The Four Hour Work Week, which I attribute to saving my life (will save that story for another post), Tim Ferriss talks about the pareto principle or 80:20 rule.
It works likes this. In everything you do, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. For example:
- 80% of your results come from 20% of your time spent (effort) or business strategies
- 80% of your income comes from about 20% of your sales or clients/customers
Tim says to reduce the amount of unnecessary stuff you do in the day, find the 20% of things you do that have the greatest impact on your business; and find the 20% of your clients or customers are that are bringing in the most income.
Evaluate your efforts
The way to do this, is by looking at your stats.
- Which business strategies are attracting the most clients or sales?
- Which products or services are selling the most?
- Which blog posts or social media posts attract the most engagement?
- Which Facebook or Adwords bring in the most leads?
- Which freebies or offers generate the most leads?
- Which clients keep coming back and why – if you don’t know; ask them!
You can questions like these in every area of your business (and life while you are at it!) and when you discover the answers, you can do more of what’s working, and less (or none) of what’s not working.
Check out these books/resources if you want to learn more:
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less by Greg McKeown
Franklin Covey: The 7 habits of highly effective people website
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