If you can free up an hour a day, you’ll create a month a year for yourself. If you’re a business owner, that could be a breakthrough thought. What would you do if you were able to free up a month a year? Perhaps you’d use it to focus on growing your business. Or maybe you’d simply take four weeks’ additional holiday. It would be great to have the choice. Here are four tips to help you delegate tasks to help you on that quest.
- Work out what you should be doing
Many small business owners spend way too much time doing things they should not be doing. It’s natural to get involved in everything when you are in start up mode – after all, the funds are not there to invest in more people. But as soon as your business starts to grow, it is imperative that you work out how you can best contribute to your business and let others do the rest. Focusing on just three big-ticket items can make a massive difference. For example, as the business owner you might decide that you should be spending your time:
- Closing large, complex sales
- Nurturing major customers
- Developing your people.
If that’s your choice, then get everything else off your plate. Your starting point should be to make a list of everything you do over a two week period then make a plan to remove all items but your top three from your list. It might take you a couple of years to do that, perhaps at the rate of one or two items a month, but when you get there, you and your business will be transformed.
2. Learn to say no
World-renowned thought leader and author, Jim Collins, advises business owners that as their business grows up, the business owner should find themselves saying no 20 times more than they say yes. How insightful is that? How many times do you say no? To customers, to new business, to your team? As your business matures, you don’t need to take on everything that walks through the door. Instead, you should become extremely focused on exactly who and what forms your market and your best buyer. You are in control and you should build your business by design so that you are doing what you want with whom you want. As a key performance indicator, the number of times you say ‘no’ during a week would have to be right up there.
3. Change the way you respond to email and phone
Many business owners find their inbox is way too big and it becomes overwhelming. They also cite emails from customers as a major source of interruptions. So you need to stop being beholden to your email. We know of business owners who have on their email footers that they only check their email twice a day and if it’s urgent, please contact the office by phone. It’s a good approach. You should certainly turn off those annoying pings (“you’ve got mail”!). Never look at email when you are working on something else.
Similarly, just because you have a mobile phone doesn’t mean you need to answer it the second it rings. Consider using your mobile as a voicemail service. Tell your customers they can leave a message and you will get back to them within a couple of hours.
Once you get in control of your life, you’ll find you are more able to delegate. Set yourself that goal to free up a month a year by allowing yourself a great reward when you get there. You’ll be glad you did. Call Williams & Kunkel CPAs today in Flower Mound at 972-446-1040 to have a chat about increasing productivity in your professional life.
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