Do You Know Where To Focus?
As a business coach, my primary responsibility is to help people succeed … not only to reach their goals, but to attain that level of personal satisfaction and meaning that comes from fulfilling their mission.
In this series of articles, we’re exploring the qualities and attributes that set you apart as a small business owner … the ones you absolutely must have … or develop … if you want to succeed in business!
We’ve looked at the importance of having rigor and grit.
The third key I want to talk about is knowing where to focus your energies.
You own and run your own business. There’s so much do to, it’s crazy. You could easily spend 16 hours a day trying to take care of everything on your to-do list. And you don’t have that kind of time, day in and day out. Not and have any life, that is.
That’s where the idea of strategic management comes into play.
You can’t do everything that needs to be done in your business yourself. That’s just a fact … and you shouldn’t be trying to!
You have to figure out what no one else can really do for you and concentrate your time and energy in those areas.
Strategic management of your time is just as important as strategic management of your capital. You can’t afford to fritter away your time on non-essential tasks anymore than you can afford to fritter your money away on non-essential expenditures.
That’s sound basic business coaching, but there’s more to consider than just the business ramifications of trying to do too many non-essential … delegate-able … things yourself. There’s the whole issue of your personal health and wellbeing. What’s the impact of working yourself to a frazzle doing things you could delegate to others?
It isn’t ever good … and it could be catastrophic.
Okay, but what exactly constitutes strategic management of your time? Specifically, what do you need to concentrate on doing and what do you need to hire and train other people to do?
It’s pretty simple. We work primarily with professional service providers. Is that you? If so, your efforts should be tightly focused on three things.
Your first priority has to be the delivery of quality service to your clients. That’s a no-brainer.
The next top priority should be the acquisition of new clients and the retention of existing clients.
This is the marketing and sales part of the equation. And when your practice is just starting or is far from being full … this may be where you want to spend most of your time.
Finally, you want to use your time to find the right people to do all the other stuff that needs to be done, from handling the financials to answering the phones … and train them well.
They could be employees or independent contractors. It doesn’t matter. Just make sure you allocate enough time to make sure they’re clear on what you want them to do.
People put a lot of emphasis on strategic planning, and rightly so, but what’s strategic planning going to do for you if the ongoing strategic management of your precious resources gets overlooked? Not much.
Your most precious resources are your time and energy. If you’re disciplined enough to keep your eye on the ball and concentrate your efforts in these three areas, the odds of your business being successful … and your staying sane … skyrocket.
But, staying disciplined isn’t always easy. Things that seem important are always trying to lure you away and get you off track.
That’s why we work with professionals to do a couple of things … make sure you’re marketing yourself in the smartest way possible … and paying ongoing attention to the strategic management of your time and resources.
The delivery of quality service? That’s up to you.
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