Change Work Habits to Grow Your Business (Part 1 of 3)
We all have that idea, that plan or that ONE THING we KNOW will change our business for the better. It will lead us to new business, new opportunities or a new market but we just haven’t got around to doing it yet! Why not?
I meet some clients once a year in my role as their accountant. When we talk about the business or how they’ve done and plans for next year, there are some businesses that stay static. For most, you will know to stay static means you’re working pretty long hours and keeping everything going! It’s not easy. However, when we want to grow our business, we have ideas that need ‘time’ to be implemented. This time doesn’t create itself. We have to change at least one practice in order to achieve something new or different.
Focus on your most important task
If you want to grow your business, allowing time to focus on your most important task (MIT), is key. Prioritise your business and schedule time for your MIT, to take your business to the next level.
If you are a busy person and don’t have a task list for each week or day, then creating one will help keep you on top of your normal work and also allow you to manage adding in new tasks to grow your business. Whether it’s finding a partner, new staff member, allowing time to meet new potential clients, scheduling in focused learning and up-skilling or researching a new product or market, you will have to schedule this new work into your existing schedule.
Analyse your list of tasks
When you have a task list of items you ‘must’ do each week or day, you might notice that something on this list could be delegated. Training other members of staff or outsourcing some work will allow you to free up some space in your schedule.
If you aren’t good at delegating work, you might feel it takes longer to train someone else to do what you can do quicker, reflect on whether or not you really want this new opportunity or whether or not you want to grow your business. This will only happen if you can see the long-term picture for your business. Delegation and training staff are short term pain for long term gain. Systemising procedures or documenting processes can take time but when staff members leave and are replaced, it will save you time on training.
When you’re busy it can be hard to see how exactly you can change your routine to fit in new work without feeling overwhelmed. If you start your day answering emails, you might find the hours fly by and you are still replying to emails hours later. For every email you send, you’ll get a quick response these days. If you’re unsure where exactly your day goes, but you ‘know’ you’re busy all day, recording your time for a period of one week will help greatly.
Professionals record their time to know what client they’re working on. Focusing on chargeable (billable) work for so many hours every day.
Record your time for a week. Focus on understanding the value of tasks and what is important versus what appears urgent, what is not important nor urgent and how you spend your day. At the end of the week review where your time went.
Depending on your work habits and what suits you naturally as your ‘productive’ time, you can allocate at least one hour every day to your new tasks. For a lot of people, changing the morning habits works. This then doesn’t interfere with their family time or evening routine with their loved ones. If you’re naturally a night owl (which many are also), then adding in one hour in the evening where you focus on this MIT for YOUR business will work.
Zig Ziglar “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.”
Start where you must start, the beginning, make the plan, decide what you need to do differently, change your routine to achieve something new.
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