Often as a business owner you find that no two days are the same. With so many hats to wear, how do you decide which ones you wear every day no matter how involved your day gets? Do you even think about the fact that there are some things you need to do every day? One of the challenges of being a business owner is not always feeling like you have control over your time – there are customer demands, employee needs and your own agenda of what is immediate. Is it any wonder that you get to the end of the day and feel like you didn’t accomplish anything?
The first question to ask yourself is what is my number 1 job as a business owner? For many business owners, the answer appears to be different from one day to the next. The second question to ask yourself is what job do I do as the owner that gets me the most important results in my business? In other words, what is it that I do for my business that only I do or I do the best that keeps me in business? This second question can be challenging for the solo practitioner, as they are the only one doing all of the jobs. For many business owners, the answer seems obvious, whatever service the company provides e.g., the plumber is doing plumbing, the IT professional services consultant is providing IT support services or the financial advisor is managing their clients money.
The fallacy of the thinking that you need to do what you started your company doing is that if all you ever do is “the work” how do you keep getting new or better business? How does your company grow and become more successful? What do you when you have done all of the work that you have in the pipeline and there are no more opportunities in front of you? It is critical that you are always thinking several steps ahead of where you are at any given moment in your business. This can often be the difference between being a business owner and being an employee.
So, how do you accomplish the balance between growing your business and doing your business even when it is just you in the business? There is no way to sugarcoat this – it isn’t easy. This is not to say it can’t be done; it just takes thought and planning. You can do it, but you must first decide you want to do it and then that you can do it.
Okay, you have decided you want to do and you can do it, what is your first step? Back to the question of what do you do that gets you the most important results in your business? Generally, the business owner is the primary person responsible for getting new business or growing existing business. There are two parts to this function, marketing and sales. Does everyone who could benefit from your business services know about your business services? Do all of the people who know about your business know what services you offer that can benefit them? That is marketing – getting the message to all of the people or businesses that can use your services.
After you have educated people, your next step is to start getting commitment from those who can benefit and want to benefit from what you do. That is sales.
In order for you to have a business, you need customers or clients. If you do activities daily that either educate new potential customers or provide additional information to existing clients, your business will grow in a consistent fashion. And, if you do activities daily that help customers decide to buy from you or generate commitment, your business will grow. Finally, if you take time to plan your work each day, you will have a greater chance of successfully completing the important tasks that help you grow your business. Now, what are the 3 most important things you are going to do today?