Question: “Ali, my business is growing, and like most I’m struggling with time management, and where to focus my energy to move forward toward success! HELP!”
—Tina Brown, Sweet B’s, Forth Worth, Tex.
Ali’s Answer: “Hi Tina. Congrats on your business growing! And… a growing business comes with a growing to-do list. Your issue is a common problem among business owners. There is SO much to do, and not enough time for one person to do it all. Here is my short answer to get you started. The key is to determine what the most important things to do are. To start this process, make a master “brain dump” list of everything on your mind that there is to do. Anything that is stressing you out or that you feel needs to be done in the business. Then take a deep breath, as it will be a BIG list.
Now, start sorting out what is most important for you to focus on in the next 90 days. This will depend on your goals for your business right now. For example, if you need to kick up the cashflow immediately, you would put “ask for client referrals” higher up on your list than “design new blog”. Keep sorting and making new smaller lists if necessary until you have narrowed down what needs to be done asap (SHORT-TERM GOALS) versus what should be accomplished down the road, say 18 months or so (LONG-TERM GOALS).
Then go through that list and label each either “I Do”, “Delegate”, “Automate”, or “Delete”. The “I Dos” are the things that truly only you can do – your “genius work”. This would be something like developing a new program you could charge more for. “Delegate” is for items you could pass on to someone on your team. For example, updating your customer mailing list to make sure all the addresses are current before you spend money on a postcard campaign. Also make a note WHO will be doing the task, if you know. “Automate” is for tasks that can be automated, such as putting as many bills as possible on auto-pay. “Delete” is for tasks you may not need to be doing at all! Next to each action item, also assign a due date.
(By the way, you DO have at least a virtual assistant or admin, right? If you don’t yet it’s definitely time to hire one. You won’t grow the business by doing administrative tasks and errands yourself.)
The place I see most business owners get stuck is they get their short-term goals and their long-term goals all mixed up, and they never move forward. So this process should help you!”
Love and success,
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