Lose Time to Gain Time: 5 Must-Do’s to Concentrate on Business
By Marina Copeland
There are so many ways to concentrate on your business. However, not all of those ways are going to yield positive results or help you to grow your venture. The trick is to put time and effort into a proper setup to save yourself more time and effort down the line.
We’re looking at the five areas that you should concentrate on now if you want to ensure your business continues on a positive trajectory.
Yes, they all require your time to get set up, and yes, you may feel like you’re neglecting other important areas in your business while doing so. However, once these processes or concepts are in place, you’ll have more time to focus on those other important areas.
- Focus On Where You’re Generating Income
The first step in getting your business running smoothly should always be to do a critical analysis of where your income is coming from. This includes everything from the marketing areas that are leading to the most sales to the products or services that are selling the best.
Take your time to go through each step in your business: marketing, sales team, customer experience, after sales support, and any other facet that’s involved. Look at which areas are really providing value and impacting your bottom line in a positive way. If, for example, a certain avenue of marketing is not resulting in leads and sales, then it may be time to stop going down that road. Alternatively, you can look and see if there are simple fixes you could make to bring that avenue up to scratch.
By doing this critical analysis, you’ll see how you are making money and where you are losing it. You can then make a plan to focus your efforts on the areas that are positive, discarding those that just aren’t working, and fixing those that can be.
In the long run, you’ll know that you’re focusing your energy in the right places and not spreading your business efforts too thin.
2. Avoid Jumping From One Idea To The Next
Debbie Allen calls this “Squirrel Syndrome”, where business owners jump from idea to idea without seeing any one of them through to completion or giving them the attention they need to get off the ground. In essence, you behave like a squirrel—darting back and forth and second-guessing decisions and thoughts. This is incredibly dangerous for business owner and their business.
This kind of behaviour leads to you being unfocused and struggling to see things through. It’s easy to get like this because you want to find the next big idea that’s going to help your business. But you aren’t sure which of your thoughts is going to be the one. It’s also easy to become frantic about your ideas and goals because you aren’t able to accomplish anything when you switch between ideas.
The trick is to have a system in place for your ideas, projects, and goals. Start with setting the goals for your business. Then you can look at your business ideas and categorize them according to how closely they align with your goals and how well they’re going to help your business.
From there, set up projects around those ideas and goals, including a realistic timeline for those projects. As you get new ideas, you’ll know how to analyze and categorize them properly, meaning you won’t end up dropping past projects or plans to work on the new idea unless it’s an idea that’s critical to business success.
3. Set Up Proper Financial Tracking
Keeping a close eye on business finances is mission-critical for any business. You need to be able to see at a glance how you are faring daily, weekly, monthly and yearly in terms of your income, expenses and your budget. With this information at hand, you can look for trends in your business and make fairly accurate predictions and forecasts for your revenue and profits.
In order to do this, you need to set up a proper system for financial tracking. You can use accounting software designed for small businesses or you can hire a bookkeeper or accountant. You also need to set up a schedule for yourself to review your figures regularly. This is one investment of your time that you won’t regret.
4. Customer Experience Should Always Be A Priority
Your customers are how your business succeeds. This means that the customer experience has to be one that will keep them coming back and get them to recommend your business to others. Remember, customers now have the greatest power to promote or denounce your business that they’ve ever had, thanks to social media and online reviews.
The most important thing you can do here is to actively listen to your customers and give them what they want. Set up regular customer surveys and ask questions that will help you to grow. Then, take the time to use that feedback to make changes that are being asked for.
5. Automate As Many Processes As Possible
Automation has become a major part of the way people do business these days. This includes chatbots on your website or social media, email and text marketing journeys, automated inventory systems, and so much more. As your business grows, you’re going to want to include automation to help ease the load.
The issue is, in order for automated systems to be effective, they need to be set up properly and deployed correctly. If you can’t trust the system to work properly, you’re going to spend a lot of time fixing mistakes and making changes. If you’re putting a chatbot on your website to answer customer queries, you need to invest in a decent AI and ensure it’s tested properly. A poor chatbot experience will make customers very unhappy. The same goes for marketing journeys in email and text, you don’t want your customers to feel like they’re getting spammed.
Investing In The Future
By shifting focus to these five areas of your business, you can invest your time in a way that will pay off down the line. While some say that you need money to make money, you also need to spend time to save time.