To make your business work more efficiently it’s a good idea to allocate a particular focus for different days of the week.
By this I mean designate client days, development days and admin days.
Client days speak for themselves, while development days are spent on marketing, following up with prospects and working on new products and services. Admin days are for catching up on bookkeeping, filing and maintaining systems.
Take batching further
Think about your entire year in terms of batching. The first step would be to schedule in holidays you’ll be taking. In my case, I schedule school holidays for the entire school year, as I know my productivity will be substantially reduced! I also schedule in any upcoming conferences to ensure that all family commitments are taken care of.
Next, I look at tasks on a weekly level. How would I like my week to look? The principle of batching can be applied to each day. Your clients don’t need you to be available every single day. You can set your own agenda and be unavailable for certain days of the week to work on developing and marketing your business.
I have scheduled a business development day and an admin day into my week. If I do not allocate specific time to these tasks they just never get done, but they are essential to the running of my business. This means, I devote two days per week for such tasks.
Dedicated business development
Business development days are devoted to creating marketing campaigns, developing new marketing materials, attending networking events, following up on leads, developing new products and services, i.e. anything associated with growing the business.
Imagine if you devoted an entire day each week to follow up with prospects, clients and joint venture partners. That’s about 48 days of followup per year (excluding holiday periods). Do you think you would increase your client base this way?
Following up is one of the most underrated tasks, but it’s invaluable in increasing your profits. Most businesses do not follow up, which means they’re leaving business on the table for someone else. Don’t let that be you.
Without business development you’re just spinning your wheels and not getting very far. I have ‘Follow Up Fridays’ where I follow up with prospects, joint venture partners, touch base briefly with clients, network with prospects and write proposals. This way, I maintain regular contact with prospects, partners and clients so that I never feel awkward following up. I utilise my Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) to assist with this process.
Now to you. Are you nurturing your business by spending enough time developing new products/services and brainstorming ideas? Imagine if you allocated an entire day per week to enhance your business. What could you achieve in that time?
Set yourself up for the day
I can hear your protests now – you’re just too busy to sit down and tackle these things and you’ll get interrupted anyway!
However, if you’re really determined, you can set yourself up for the day and minimise distractions. Turn off your phone, shut down email and stop social networking! Set yourself a timeframe to progress as much as you can on that project, generate ideas or even just sit and think… yes, just sit and think! You can deliver incredible ideas and concepts just by giving yourself time to think.
You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve by allocating a theme to particular days.
If you spend two days per week on business development and admin, you’re already dedicating 96 days in a year to your business. You’ll be growing your business while keeping your paperwork, admin and bookkeeping under control. And of course, the other three days of the week are devoted to supporting your clients.
Your achievements will be remarkable. If, on the other hand, you continue “fitting in” marketing wherever you can, I can assure you, you will not achieve much. So try planning the rest of the year to include business development and admin days. I’m certain you will achieve more than ever before.
This article originally appeared in Spark Magazine.
Alycia Edgar is a fully qualified accountant and systems specialist who developed Bookzkeeper, an accounting solution for small businesses and their accountants. For more information about Bookzkeeper and Alycia visit www.getmybookssorted.com and www.numbersarelife.com